The Museum Collection
Mary Gallego Portrait
Description:This portrait hung in both "Moldavia" (one of Edgar Allan Poe's boyhood homes) and "Duncan Lodge" (Poe's sister's home from 1843 until 1865). The subject, Mary Gallego was the wife of Joseph Gallego, the Spanish-born Richmond businessman who owned the second largest flour mill in the world. The Gallegos lived in the Richmond mansion "Moldavia," and, after their death, Poe's foster father, John Allan, purchased the house in 1825. Joseph Gallego gave the portrait to his wife's friend, Mrs. Jane Scott Mackenzie, (Poe's sister's foster mother) and left $2000 in his will for the care of Poe's sister, Rosalie Poe. Poe Museum co-founder Mrs. Archer Jones purchased this and two other paintings (Sally Scott Gray and Jane Scott Mackenzie) that once hung in "Duncan Lodge" from Mrs. Mackenzie's granddaughter Jane Mackenzie Miller. Jones donated the paintings to the Poe Museum in 1927.
The portrait was painted around 1806 and is attributed to the artist Thomas Sully on the basis of a signature on the back of the canvas.
Mrs. Gallego was one of the 72 victims of the 1811 Richmond Theater Fire.