“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Virginia Poe Bicentennial

The Bicentennial and exhibit take place at Westminster Hall & Burying Ground.

A most poetical year to honor the beloved wife of Edgar Allan Poe.

Virginia Poe Bicentennial

Monthly events and programs in 2022

Edgar Allan Poe famously proclaimed the "death of a beautiful woman" the most poetical subject in the world. The prolonged suffering of his beautiful, dying wife, Virginia Poe (1822 - 1847,) almost certainly inspired this belief. Muse, poetess, child bride, daughter of Baltimore, Virginia Poe remains one of the most enigmatic and controversial figures in the famed author's history.

Commemorating the 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe's beloved wife, the Virginia Poe Bicentennial includes monthly virtual and in-person programs including grave-side chats, hidden history, discussion series, and exhibits.

August Event:

Virginia Poe Bicentennial, Gothic Tea Party & Summer Reception

Saturday, August 13, 2022, join an afternoon Gothic birthday tea party and summer reception as we gather to commemorate the 200th birthday of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe. Your ticket includes performance and concert, plus tea toast and wreath-laying at the graves of Virginia and Edgar Allan Poe.

Tickets are all-inclusive for light refreshment and program entertainment. Dress is gothic tea-party themed; guests are encouraged (though not required) to wear their best themed garb and hats, though beware the weather as Baltimore summers are notoriously hot.

Featuring performances and dramatic readings from Poe Baltimore, the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre, The Dan Meyer Choir, The Poe Museum (Richmond,) and living history presentations from Debbie Phillips and J. Scott Watkins. Convocation by Rev. Clare of the Towson Universalist Unitarian Church.

Attendees will also PREVIEW the upcoming Edgar & Virginia Poe Death Exhibit:

Presented by Poe Baltimore at Westminster Hall, the "Edgar & Virginia Poe Death Exhibit" explores the hidden history of Virginia Poe, the beloved wife and muse of Edgar Allan Poe, and how she shaped her husband's work even from beyond the grave. The exhibit also includes the morbid story of Virginia's death and afterlife, plus a memento mori collection of mourning jewelry and sentimental art made from human hair. A mobile app and live guide are included to answer your questions!

NOTE: Death and funeral imagery (including body in an open casket), may not be suitable for young children. Viewer discretion advised.

Exhibit presented by Poe Baltimore in cooperation with Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, The Dr. John W. Hawkins & Mark T. VerValin Collection, The Maryland Women's Heritage Center, The Poe Cottage at Fordham & Bronx County Historical Society, The Poe Museum (Richmond), Hayden Peters & ArtOfMourning.com, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, The Enoch Pratt Free Library, Michael & Jaime Fawcett, Thomas Brown Woodwright, LLC, William & Karen Griffith, Michael Davis, Jason Strutz Illustration, The Baltimore Camera Club and Carroll Museums. This event is made possible by a grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and The Baltimore National Heritage Area, with kind assistance from the B&O Railroad Museum and the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum.

Follow us on social media to be alerted when events are happening! The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women's Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)
Previous Sessions:


Westminster Hall & Burying Ground 519 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, MD