Museum News

Bicentennial of Poe’s Mother’s Death Commemorated at Poe Museum

Thursday, December 8, 2011 is the bicentennial of the death of Edgar Allan Poe’s mother, Eliza Poe. Though Edgar was only two years old when he lost his mother, his “mournful and neverending remembrance” of her cast a shadow over his life and work. Although Eliza Poe’s fame has long been overshadowed by her famous son, she was actually a talented and popular actress in the early days of American theater.

In observance of the bicentennial, the Poe Museum hosted a lecture by renowned Poe scholar Richard Kopley, a performance by Eliza Poe interpreter Debbie Phillips, and an exhibit of rare artifacts related to her life and career. The weekend began with the Poe Illumination, in which the Poe Museum’s Enchanted Garden came to life with thousands of lights and holiday decorations. Below is some video of the Poe Foundation’s President, Dr. Harry Lee Poe, speaking at Eliza Poe’s grave after having laid a wreath on her monument.

The exhibit devoted to Poe’s mother continues until April 1, 2012, so be sure not to miss it. In case you can’t attend in person, some of the artifacts from the exhibit can now be seen in our online collections database.


  1. Thank you for paying tribute to Mrs. Poe today!

    Comment by Literary Rob — December 8, 2011 @ 5:13 pm
  2. Thanks for honoring Poe’s mother. Very apoerpriate.

    Comment by Jeff — December 8, 2011 @ 5:43 pm
  3. That’s supposed to be “appropriate” thank you!

    Comment by Jeff — December 8, 2011 @ 5:45 pm
  4. Rest in Peace , Elizabeth Arnold

    Comment by Anna Leigh Cross — December 8, 2011 @ 6:10 pm
  5. Rest in peace, Mrs. Poe.

    Comment by ally — December 8, 2011 @ 7:18 pm
  6. That is so beautiful! Wish I lived out there, would have loved to have been there for this.

    Comment by Alysia — December 8, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

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