Museum News


More Photos from Poe’s Birthday Bash


Poe’s 203rd Birthday Bash may be over, but we’ve been getting lots of fun photos from various people on our flickr group.

Here are a few samples (click the photos for a closer look):

Poe's 203rd Birthday Bash

Belly dancers Lucretia and Lavinia performing the “Dance of the Conqueror Worm” – Photo by Silly Human Tricks

Poe's 203rd Birthday Bash

Belly dancer The Muse – Photo by Silly Human Tricks

If you’re wondering what belly dancing has to do with Poe or his birthday … well, Poe wrote stories like “The Cask of Amontillado” that are set at carnival time and belly dance seemed to fit nicely there. Also, all of our dances had Victorian/gothic themes of which we are certain Poe would approve – one was even based on his poem “The Conqueror Worm.” Moreover, the birthday bash marked the opening of our special exhibition of James Carling’s illustrations for “The Raven” and as Carling himself was a sideshow/vaudeville performer, it seemed appropriate. Plus, it was just too fun to pass up and what’s a party without fun, right?

Poe's 203rd Birthday Bash

Sword dance by Madame Onça – Photo by Silly Human Tricks

We were also fortunate to have six local poets come and do readings in honor of Edgar for his birthday festivities at the museum. Each poet read a poem by Poe and one of their own works.

Cynthia Grier Lotze readingJoanna S. Lee readingMelissa Johnson readingTarfia Faizullah readingBenjamin Dombroski readingLaura Davenport reading

Top row: Cynthia Grier Lotze and Joanna S. Lee Middle row: Melissa C. Johnson and Tarfia Faizullah Bottom row: Benjamin Dombrowski and Laura Davenport – Photos by Melanie Armstrong.

1277

Poe fans young and old came out to enjoy the fun which lasted from 10am to midnight. Here we see some VERY young Poe fans in training with their moms enjoying entertainment by Sadira Silverhare and DragonSong. Photo by Bonnie Chanteuse.

Cute little Poe fan waiting for the trolley tourCute little Poe Fan

More little Poe fans waiting for trolley rides and soaking up the atmosphere at the Birthday Bash. Photos by Melanie Armstrong.

DragonSong & friends

Various performers enjoying the festivities. Photo by Melanie Armstrong.

Visitors were also treated to fun and diverse musical performances by Aeon Yaweh, DragonSong and Machine Gun Mustache. People enjoyed each band’s sets.

We were even graced by the presence of the Birthday Boy, Poe himself as well as by a visit from his mother, Eliza (ably portrayed by wonderful living history performers.)

The Poe Family (mother & son) in the Poe Shrine

Eliza Poe and her son Edgar in the Poe Shrine – Photo by Melanie Armstrong.

These and many other photos can be found and shared via the Poe Museum’s own flickr group. If you have photos you’d like to share, you can share them with us on the flickr group or email them to melanie@poemuseum.org.

You can also check out a few videos from the day’s festivities on the Poe Museum’s YouTube channel.

So make sure you come out to our exciting 90th anniversary events this year and take lots of photos of the fun you have! Keep an eye on our Events Page and our Facebook page for information about our 2012 events.




More Selections from James Carling’s “Raven” Drawings


The Poe Museum’s new special exhibit “Stormier, Wilder, and More Weird: James Carling and ‘The Raven’” opened on January 14, and visitors were in awe of Carling’s 43 masterful drawings, which fill both floors of the Exhibit Building.

The artist who produced these drawings, James Carling, was born in 1857 in Liverpool. He was fifth son of Henry Carling, a blacking maker. When James was five years old, he began to earn a living as an errand boy and singer. He would even recite the poetry of Shakespeare on street corners for spare change. Encouraged by his older brothers, James started drawing pictures on sidewalks, and he soon found passersby filling his hat with pocket change. At the age of seven, he was arrested for drawing on the sidewalk and was jailed overnight before being sentenced to seven days in a workhouse. He was sent to a technical school for six years. Though the court had sentenced Carling to attend the school, it demanded his father pay for tuition. When Carling’s father refused to pay, he was thrown in jail, where he died. Carling was fourteen when he completed his sentence at the school. Upon his release, he travelled with his brothers to the United States, where they resumed their careers as street artists. Carling eventually found work as a vaudeville performer billed as the “Lightning Caricaturist” and “the Fastest Drawer in the World.” In 1883, it was announced that Harper Brothers would be publishing an edition of Poe’s poem “The Raven” with illustrations by the French artist Gustave Dore. It was about this time that Carling began his own set of drawings for the poem. The drawings remained unpublished at the time of Carling’s death, four years later in 1887. He was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave. The drawings remained in storage for over fifty years until Carling’s brother decided to exhibit them in 1930. Response to the work was so positive that the Poe Museum purchased the set in 1937.

Below is a small sample of the work on display. These pieces have so many strange and subtle details that the photos provided below can only give a faint impression of the experience of seeing the entire series up close. For more information about the Poe Museum’s collection of James carling’s illustrations for “The Raven,” visit our Collections Database. The exhibit continues until May 1, 2012, so be sure not to miss it.




Poe Museum attends bridal show


On January 8th, 2012, the Poe Museum had the privilege of being an exhibitor at the Richmond Bridal Showcase. Held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, the showcase was attended by thousands of brides-to-be. The list of events included fashion shows and raffle prizes, the latter of which the Poe Museum was involved with in contributing giveaways, such as free bridal portraits in the Enchanted Garden. The museum’s booth (see image below) was well visited, with curious brides stating their surprised interest in the fact that the Poe Museum is such an attractive wedding venue. I even saw some familiar faces from the Bridal Showcase at Poe’s 203rd Birthday Bash this past weekend! Overall, the show was an excellent way for the museum to meet potential brides and network with professionals in the wedding industry.

There is still availability to have your wedding at the Poe Museum in 2012. However, after the Bridal Show interest in remaining dates is higher than ever. With time short, don’t wait to book your wedding in the Enchanted Garden. Contact me at jamie@poemuseum.org for more information.




Poe Birthday Bash Photos by Kromatic Photography


Kendall from Kromatic Photography sent us these images he made after last Saturday’s Poe Birthday Bash.