Museum News


New Exhibit Reveals Untold Story of Poe’s Mother


Etching of Eliza Poe by Alexander Von Jost

Edgar Allan Poe was not the first member of his family to bring fame to the Poe name. His mother, Eliza Poe, who died at the age of twenty-four when Edgar was only two, was a gifted actress and singer who performed throughout the country. Just in time for the bicentennial of her death, the Poe Museum is bringing together some of the few remaining artifacts associated with her life for the exhibit Poe’s Mother: The Untold Story, opening December 2, 2011 and running until April 1, 2012. The exhibit will pay tribute to the talented performer who blazed the trail for future American actresses in a day when acting was still considered immoral and an unsuitable profession for women. Among the artifacts on view will be original scripts from plays in which she performed and a copy of her marriage bond and her only known signature.

Watercolor of Eliza Poe from Collection of the Poe Museum

The exhibit opening on December 2 from 6-9 P.M. will feature a performance by Eliza Poe as performed by Debbie Phillips. The performance will include original songs Eliza Poe is known to have performed. Admission to the opening reception event is free, and warm drinks and live music will be available.

Rare script for play featuring Eliza Poe in the Cast

Photo of Eliza Poe's Marriage Bond Courtesy of the Library of Virginia

Rare Engraving of the Richmond Theater Fire from the Collection of the Poe Museum

Copy of Only Known Letter Written by Eliza Poe Courtesy of the Lilly Library, Indiana



1 Comment »


  1. Thankyou to the Poe Museum.
    The love and thoroughness which your online exhibits reveal impresses me so much. Congratulations on the professioanalism of your work.

    Comment by Helen Montgomery — December 2, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

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