Museum News


Unhappy Hour on the Night’s Plutonian Shore


Our September Unhappy Hour featured Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven”.

The evening was visited by a veritable flock of winged visitors thanks to some lovely Raven masks – some of which were made for the Poe Museum by a local craftsperson.

Ravens having fun at Unhappy Hour

The evening featured the U.S. debut of an art exhibit entitled “The Raven, Terror and Death” featuring works by U.S. and Mexican artists inspired by the famous poem.

People checking out the new Raven-inspired exhibitPeople checking out the new Raven-inspired exhibit

People checking out the new Raven exhibit

We also had several readings of the poem by people during the course of the evening. Here is a video sample featuring the actor Chris Patrick as Edgar Allan Poe:

(Chris Patrick is playing Poe this weekend in a Haunts of Richmond / Poe Museum co-production of Poe’s Haunted Homecoming Tour. We are grateful that Mr. Poe was able to give us a reading of “The Raven” at the Poe Museum before the show began at historic Shockoe Hill Cemetery. )

Excellent jazz accompaniment for the evening’s festivities was provided by Jack Winn Duo and Poe fans young and old (plus a stray bat or two) really got into the spirit of the event.

Fun at Unhappy HourThe Jack Winn Duo at Unhappy Hour Cute Kid getting into the Unhappy Hour spirit

Of course, this Unhappy Hour also served as the Poe Museum’s first event of our busy fall season. Make sure that you check our events calendar for information about all kinds of exciting things that will be happening in October.

First up on Sunday October 2nd from 2-4pm is the launch party for Richmond Macabre a horror anthology dedicated to Poe and featuring stories set right here in the River City. We hope to see folks at as many of our October events as possible. October is Poe’s month after all!




Poe Museum to Host U.S. Debut of Raven Art


On Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 6-9P.M., the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia will celebrate the opening of the United States debut of a new art exhibit, The Raven, Terror & Death, with an Unhappy Hour devoted to Edgar Allan Poe’s 1845 poem “The Raven.” Guests will enjoy raven readings, films, music, games, and, of course, this unique artistic tribute to the poem featuring over 60 artists from the United States and Mexico. The Raven, Terror & Death was first exhibited earlier this year at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico. In addition to showcasing a wide variety of different contemporary artists’ responses to Poe’s poem, the exhibit also offers a rare opportunity for Richmonders to see new art by some of Mexico’s most respected artists.

Exhibit organizers, George Rivera, PhD, Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado, and Dr. José Daniel Manzano Águila, Director of the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, offered a select group of contemporary artists the challenge of creating work in response to Poe’s poem, “The Raven.”
According to Rivera, “Since art has the capacity to build bridges between people by addressing what is universal among human beings, the exhibition of “El Cuervo” [“The Raven”] in the United States is timely… Dr. Manzano understands the importance of the artistic spirit in the New Millennium. The artists who he has gathered from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas have created excellent examples of art that transcends borders.”
The Co-Curator, Manzano says of the Mexican artists in the exhibit, “This sample integrated with 24 works created by the same number of participants, all educators of the National School of Plastic Arts of the UNAM, will contribute in the promotion and diffusion of the artistic work and will serve as a homage to the highly esteemed writer Edgar Allan Poe, who bequeathed the humanity an extraordinary abundance of literary works. It is also our desire that this exposition serve to preserve the Poe Museum, where the literary creator lived part of his life, carrying out the magisterial work that can be found translated into almost all the languages of the world.”
Professor Rivera will be attendance at the exhibit opening to answer questions about the extraordinary range of works on view. The exhibit will continue through January 1, 2012. Admission is free during the exhibit opening and thereafter is included with Poe Museum general admission.

Below are a few samples of the work to be displayed.




Small Fry Visit Museum


Raven Puppets at the Poe Museum!

Kids showing off their freshly made Raven puppets (photo courtesy of Tammy Breeding)

For the past few weeks, the Poe Museum has played host to several primary school aged groups who were interested in learning about Edgar Allan Poe as part of their summer enrichment. Our usual bailiwick is middle and high school aged pupils, but we at the Museum were more than happy to help introduce Poe to younger folks.

Children received a special tour of the museum and then got to participate in an activity designed to introduce them to poetry via Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven”. They also got to make their own Raven puppets to take home.

The kids (and the Poe Museum guides) all seem to have had a great time. Hopefully, we are helping to instill an early appreciation for poetry in general and Poe in particular for the young people that have visited us this month. Maybe we will even inspire someone to go on to write poetry or short stories of their own.




The Raven Receives Fan Mail


In what may possibly be a Poe Museum first, we received a letter addressed to “The Raven” in care of the museum.

The envelope - click for a larger version

Needless to say, the staff was intrigued and we passed the letter along to the Raven.

The Raven was so pleased by the letter, that he asked me to share it on the museum blog. (Ravens lack opposable thumbs, which makes blogging difficult for them.)

So here is the letter:

The letter - click for a larger version

The Raven composed a reply and had me put it in the mail this morning. We hope that Mr. Martell will enjoy the letter.

The Raven has also graciously consented to allowing his reply to be published on this blog, so here it is:

The Raven's Reply - click for larger version

A little bird told us this might be the start of a trend…