Statue of Poe by Sir Moses Ezekiel


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞



Statue of Poe by Sir Mozes Ezekiel

This photo­graph of Ezek­iel's statue of Poe shows it as it appeared in Wyman Park. In 1983, it was moved to the plaza of the law school of the Univer­sity of Balt­imore (in Balti­more, Mary­land). Poe's left hand is raised to draw attention to the artist's intention that Poe was listen­ing to ethereal music.

This wonderful statue of Poe was the last work of the great American sculptor Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel. It was commissioned in 1907 by the Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore. It was hoped that the statue would be ready by Poe’s centennial in 1909, but a series of problems prevented its completion until 1916 and World War I delayed its arrival in Baltimore until 1921. (Although born and raised in the United States, Sir Moses Ezekiel lived and worked in Rome, Italy.)

The original estimated expense for making the statue and casting it in bronze was $20,000. Sir Moses, however, had strong Southern sympathies, having been born in Richmond, Virginia and having fought with the confederates in the Civil War. He generously donated half of the cost himself. Fate was less kind, destroying the first model in a fire and the second in an earthquake. Sir Moses envisioned Poe seated in a classical chair, adorned with images of the muses of music and poetry. Poe’s head is tilted slightly to one side, with his left hand raised as he listens to ethereal music. The base was molded out of concrete. Inscriptions read: “Edgar Allan Poe; 19 January 1809; 7 October 1849; Dreaming Dreams; No Mortal; Ever Dared; To Dream Before” ; “To Thee; The Laurels Belong; Best Bard” ; “Whose Sweet Duty; Was But to Sing”; “Erected by; The Poe Memorial Association; Of Baltimore; And the Generosity; Of Mr. Orrin C. Painter.”

The statue was dedicated in Wyman Park on October 20, 1921. Over the years, it suffered from neglect, vandalism and the effects of wind and rain, which eroded the inscriptions until they were virtually unreadable. Deciding that the park was too isolated a location for the statue, it was moved, under the recommendation of the E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore, to the plaza of the University of Baltimore’s Law School, where it now resides. In its new home, the Poe statue has been embraced as a sort of school mascot. Students have their pictures taken with the statue. A flower may often be found in the statue's lapel and, on special occasions, one hand holds a helium balloon.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞



∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Directions:

The Sir Moses Ezekiel statue of Poe is located in the plaza of the Law School of the University of Baltimore. The Law School Plaza is at the north-east corner of Maryland and Mount Royal Avenues. (See map under Images.)

From I-83: Take I-83 (Jones Falls Expressway) to exit 5. Turn left at the first traffic light, going south on Maryland Avenue for one block. The Law Plaza and Poe statue (facing Mt. Royal Avenue) are visible on the left. Turn right on Mount Royal at the traffic signal to pass in front of the statue.

Parking: There is on-street, metered parking, particularly on Maryland Avenue.

Note: Use caution when parking in an urban environment. Common sense dictates that you lock your car and keep any valuables out of sight.



∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Bibliography:

  • Azrael, Louis, “A Man Who Chisled for Poe,” The News American (Baltimore), Wednesday, October 3, 1975, p.7B. (Discusses Mr. Fontaine’s alteration of the inscription on the statue’s base.)
  • Krainik, Clifford, “The Sir Moses Ezekiel Statue of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore,” in Myths and Realities: The Mysterious Mr. Poe, Baltimore: The E. A. Poe Society, 1985, pp. 48-5.
  • Pouder, G. H., “Poe of Baltimore,” Baltimore, Vol. XLII, No. 11, September 1949, pp. 16-22. (The statue is discussed primiarly on page 22.)
  • Rose, Alexander G. III, ed., The Minutes of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association, April 12, 1907 - February 25, 1922 and the Correspondence Between Sir Moses Ezekiel and the Association, April 2, 1911 - October 24, 1916, Baltimore: The E. A. Poe Society, 1992. (This publication is out of print.)

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Baltimore - Statue of Poe by Sir Moses Ezekiel