Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Edgar Allan Poe Memorial

Richard Henry Park (1832–1902)
1882–84; carved 1884
Marble and bronze
115 x 84 1/2 x 39 3/4 in. (292.1 x 214.6 x 101 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of the Actors of the City of New York, 1885
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Edgar Allan Poe Memorial was executed by Park in Florence and unveiled at the Metropolitan Museum on May 4, 1885. The memorial was commissioned by a group of New York actors in memory of American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849). The central focus of the composition is a bronze relief portrait of Poe, situated within a classical marble entablature. A full-length female figure, carved in marble, stands to the left of the portrait holding a marble wreath of oak leaves and acorns. The lengthy inscription engraved on the marble tablet, was written by drama critic William Winter.
Signature: [right front]: R.H. PARK. Sc

Inscription: [front]: This Memorial, expressing a deep and personal / sympathy between the Stage and the Literature of / America, was placed here by the Actors of New York, / to commemorate the American Poet / EDGAR ALLAN POE, / whose parents--DAVID POE, JR., and ELIZABETH / ARNOLD, his wife--were Actors, and whose renown / should, therefore, be cherished, with peculiar reverence / and pride, by the Dramatic Profession / of his country. / He was born in Boston, the 19th of January, 1809; / he died in Baltimore, the 7th of October, 1849. / / He was great in his genius; unhappy in his life; / wretched in his death. But in his fame he is immortal. / / Saepius ventis agitatur ingens / Pinus, et celsae graviore casu / / Decidunt turres, feriuntque summos / Fulgura montes." ["Very often the mighty pine and lofty trees / Are driven on by the winds and a more serious misfortune: / The towers fall down, and the high mountains / Get struck by lightning."]
the artist, until 1884
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