Kind of like my obsession with old US Presidents, I have also long had a weird obsession with Edgar Allan Poe [truth bomb: it might just be dead white guys. I'll explore this one later]. I wrote a research paper on Poe in 10th grade and have been enamored ever since. He was an odd man, to be sure, but there was something about those sad eyes that pulled at me [another truth bomb: I'm a sucker for sad eyes].
So imagine my excitement when I found out that there is a museum dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe in Richmond; there might have actually been a legit squeal of happiness upon said discovery. So as Tuesday morning dawned on my time in Richmond, I practically sped my way over to see what new things I could learn about this guy.
The Poe Museum is spread over a series of buildings surrounding a quaint and peaceful courtyard in downtown Richmond. Although Poe lived in a number of places throughout the city in his youth and adolescence, none of the buildings are in existence any longer, but the Museum does have a number of his personal effects in their collection.
The tour is self-guided, so you can make your way through the buildings at your leisure and in any order you wish. Other than a summer camp group that left not long after I arrived, there were maybe 5 other visitors during my time there, so I pretty much had the buildings to myself. I followed along chronologically, moving with Edgar as he was taken in by the Allan family following his mother's death and following him through his youth around Richmond and eventually into adulthood.
Overall I really enjoyed my visit to the Museum. I liked that moving around the exhibits and buildings was almost like putting together a puzzle, and at the end of it you had a full picture of Poe's life and works, including the influence he continues to have on writers and artists today. I liked that it was self-paced, so I could spend as much or as little time reading stories and looking at photographs. And I very much enjoyed revisiting an old obsession of mine.
If you're interested:
Oh, Edgar Allan Poe. You were one weird dude, but I can't help but love you.
|[the fountain in the courtyard]|
|[courtyard within the exhibition buildings. if i had had my book with me, i would have happily plopped myself down on a bench for a good little while]|
|[because obviously there has to be a raven somewhere on the grounds. it's the poe museum, after all]|
|[quoth the raven, nevermore]|
|[sign outside the museum]|
- located at 1914-16 East Main St, Richmond, VA 23223
- there is a small parking lot attached to the museum, and there is limited street parking available as well
- open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday; 11am-5pm Sunday; CLOSED MONDAY [gift shop closes at 4.30pm]
- admission is $6; senior citizens and student admission is $5
- photography is not allowed of the exhibits but is allowed in the garden and courtyard
- visits are self-guided, but there are guided tours available as well; call ahead of your visit if you want a guided tour; also call ahead to schedule a group tour
- the Holocaust Museum is walking distance from the Poe Museum, if you're interested in visiting both; it's about 2 blocks away [I'll be writing about my visit on here tomorrow]
|[because edgar and i are besties]|