Artifacts for the Poe Museum
$1,590 of $5,000 goal
(Above: Portrait of Rufus Griswold)
The Poe Museum is trying to raise $5,000 to purchase and preserve a unique oil painting of Rufus Griswold, Edgar Allan Poe’s literary executor, first biographer, and worst enemy. The portrait also comes with an archive of letters to and from Griswold and his associates, poetry by Griswold, and a portrait of Griswold's wife. Since the Edgar Allan Poe Museum is dedicated to telling Poe’s life story to audiences of all ages, these artifacts that address the origins of many misconceptions about Poe are a perfect addition to the museum’s collection. Since we are a small museum with limited resources, we are reaching out to literature lovers and the Poe community to help us bring these pieces to the museum where we can share them with the public.
(Above: Poetry by Rufus Griswold from the collection)
All contributors to this campaign will have their names listed on a plaque next to the painting when it is on display at the museum for our 30,000 annual visitors from all fifty states and no fewer than thirty-three different countries. We will also feature the painting, the letters, and the names of the contributors on our website poemuseum.org , which sees 1.6 million unique visitors a year.
Since the Poe Museum has received most of its artifacts as donations, this will be one of the museum’s few large purchases in its ninety-four year history. Please join us in making this historic acquisition a reality. Any additional funds raised will be applied to cleaning and conserving the portrait and to establishing a fund to help the Poe Museum make future purchases for its collection.
(Above: The Poe Museum's Enchanted Garden)
Don't forget that this collection includes more than just portraits. It also contains dozens of letters and manuscripts. Here is one of those manuscripts.
It is a Christmas poem written by Rufus Griswold for a lady named Elizabeth Waring. To impress her, he writes about his wife, who had just died a month earlier. In fact, he is still in mourning, which is indicated by the black border on his stationery.
The poem begins,
A day of joy to all the world is this,
But unto me, alas! a day of gloom;
For she who was the fountain of my bliss
Is hid from me forever in the tomb.
“A happy Christmas!” comes from many a voice, --
‘T is kindly meant,--it brings me only pain, --
She who alone could bid my soul rejoice,
Oh, wo is me! I ne’er shall see again!
While he might not have been as talented a poet as his enemy Edgar Poe, Griswold made his name editing the major anthology The Poets and Poetry of America (1842). Elizabeth Waring was not impressed by the poem. According to a Griswold family history, "...apparently she did not care for poetry or poets, for she refused to marry Rufus..."
I hope this happens! Can't think of a better repository of Griswold's items!
i love mr poe would have like to met & know him what dvd would tell me the truth about him many thanks billy i have a poe book with paintings by mr. greg hildebrant many thanks billy