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Yesterday morning found me (along with my sweetheart and my younger daughter, M) at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. I'm still shocked that M agreed to get up and come with us on a Sunday morning, but it was a Very Good Surprise.

I dragged persuaded everyone to come with me to see the current temporary exhibit, "Picturing Poe: Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe's Stories and Poems", which was fantabulous. The wood cut of Poe on the right was produced by William S. Hartshorn shortly after Poe's death, and was lauded by people who'd actually known Poe. There were other portraits of Poe there as well - both a daguerrotype and a painting done in the 80s by Horst Janssen (which you can see at the museum's webpage.

Mostly, though, the collection consisted of illustrations based on Poe's words. The most popular subject was, of course, his narrative poem, "The Raven", which was depicted in a variety of manners by various artists, including Edouard Manet and Gustave Dorét. Plus they had original art from Steampunk Poe, a collaboration between Zdenko Basic and Manuel Sumberac that pairs Poe's original tales with steampunk illustrations, and art from Gris Grimly, Arthur Rackham, and Barry Moser, to name but a few. The works on display included quite a lot of framed art, as well as a lot of books propped open to their appropriate pages.

Besides "The Raven", the most popular illustration subjects appeared to be "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "A Descent Into the Maelstrom" and "Berenice", with a bit of space for "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Gold Bug", "The Black Cat", and more. At the end of the tour, you could stand under a sort of dome (not, however, a "cone of silence") and listen to Vincent Price's rendition of "The Raven".

Altogether a spectacular exhibit, and one I highly recommend to anyone who can get themselves there between now and November 15th, when it closes.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
How fabulous. I'm going to mention this to my daughter. It's a bit of a hike, but not so bad from where she is in North Jersey.
Oct. 16th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
It really was fabulous, particularly if you're into (a) Poe and/or (b) book illustrations.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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