Artifacts for the Poe Museum

$1,590 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 38 months
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Almost everything we know about Edgar Allan Poe is wrong. That’s because his enemy Rufus Griswold wrote Poe’s first biography in an attempt to portray him as a drug-addicted madman. Now the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia has the opportunity to help set the record straight, but we need your help.


(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)
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Thanks again to everyone who helped bring Rufus Griswold to the Poe Museum. The contributions made online combined with some offline contributions helped us exceed our goal with a total of $7,293, and the portraits and archive are now at the Poe Museum. Be sure to check our website https://www.poemuseum.org to get the latest updates on the conservation and exhibition of these important artifacts. Thanks again for all you have done to support the Edgar Allan Poe Museum.
Rufus Griswold before restoration
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Thanks to everyone who has helped bring this Griswold collection to the Poe Museum. In addition to the portrait of Rufus Griswold and the several letters to and from Griswold and his family, the lot also includes this beautiful portrait of Griswold's first wife Caroline.
Caroline Griswold portrait
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Thanks to everyone who has contributed to bringing this important Rufus Griswold archive to the Poe Museum. Please spread the word about this opportunity. Just in case anyone asks you who Rufus Griswold is, here is the story of the Poe/Griswold feud as interpreted by Comedy Central's Drunk History: https://youtu.be/75cWpzc8Uv8
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Thanks to everyone who has contributed to help bring these artifacts to the Poe Museum where they can be preserved and shared with the public.

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..."
Griswold's Christmas Poem
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Read a Previous Update
Jeff Jerome
37 months ago

I hope this happens! Can't think of a better repository of Griswold's items!

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38 months ago

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

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$1,590 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 38 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created April 29, 2016
Funds raised will benefit:
Poe Foundation, Inc.
Certified Charity
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Richmond, VA
EIN: 540343050
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ES
$50
Ernst Schnell
37 months ago
$15
Patrick Tsao
37 months ago
$50
Anonymous
37 months ago
NR
$25
Neca Rocco
37 months ago
JS
$50
Justin and Elizabeth Schauer
37 months ago
WS
$100
Wayne and Pat Stith
37 months ago
MK
$40
Magdalena Karol
37 months ago
MH
$500
Mary Lee Haase
37 months ago

Let's do this, Richmond!

ST
$10
Sara Tantlinger
37 months ago
MB
$25
Michael Brazda
37 months ago
Jeff Jerome
37 months ago

I hope this happens! Can't think of a better repository of Griswold's items!

+ Read More
38 months ago

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

+ Read More
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