Following the enormous artistic and financial success of the H.P. Lovecraft Bronze Bust Project, the natural successor was Edgar Allan Poe as a fellow master of the macabre. Originally suggested by Alison Maxell, then executive director of the Providence Athenauem as a companion piece to the Lovecraft bust, the Poe bust would be placed in Providence but it was ultimately not to be. So, I approached the Boston Public Library who graciously accepted the donation proposal.
Graham Humphreys created another masterpiece poster to lead the charge in creating the brand for these bust projects and easily matched the magnificent poster art for the Lovecraft bust project. Old friends Reber Clark and Anthony Penta created some terrific project videos that helped to get the message out and Jeffrey Combs, my friend of many years, graciously agreed to bring his one man performance "Nevermore" to Boston theater audiences as part of the project.
What really got this project propelled into the limelight was the public support of genre' luminaries such as Guillermo del Toro, Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, Peter Straub, Stuart Gordon and so many others who, as with the Lovecraft bust project, lent their good names to guarantee the success of the project.
Thanks to the many fans of Poe worldwide, the project team and I were able to exceed the financial goal once again which allowed us to make a $1000.00 donation to Read Boston, the local children's literacy program.
A whirlwind Halloween weekend was had with the bust being unveiled to an enthusiastic audience in the beautiful Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library where I was able to meet in person many of the kind project donors from around the world and thank them firsthand for their generosity. The next night saw an incredible tour de force performance by Jeffrey Combs as Poe himself at the Somerville Theater to a capacity crowd. I was able to sit front row center between my wonderful daughter Chloe and Susan Jaffe Tane, the world's premier collector and historian of original Poe material. Susan has championed many exhibitions and artists dedicated to celebrating Poe's life and influence and I was honored to enjoy her company and her patronage.
The bronze bust of Poe was placed in the cavernous recesses of the Boston Public Library awaiting it's final placement for display in the new Johnson Wing, a 78 million dollar renovation that opened to the public in July, 2016. Poe took his place among other beautiful busts of Mark Twain, Maya Angelou and many others, which was an honor for me to be included in such august company. The donation was awarded to Read Boston on behalf of the many project donors shortly after the final display of the bust and the project was completed.
A long artistic journey to be sure, but one that I was extremely proud of and always will be, forevermore.