Text: Michael J. Deas, “Acknowledgments,” The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe (1989), pp. ix-x (This material is protected by copyright)


[page ix:]


A list of acknowledgments tends to be one of the more neglected parts of a book; mistaken by many as a mere formality on the part of the author, it all too frequently goes unread. It is my sincere hope that such will not be the case here, for throughout the course of my research I have been ably and often graciously assisted by a number of individuals, each of whom has, in one way or another, been instrumental in helping to clear away the confusion that has long been associated with Poe portraiture. It is with pleasure that I am at last able to acknowledge the help and kindness I have received from so many quarters.

William F. Stapp, Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, was among the first to offer advice and encouragement for this work, placing at my disposal the gallery's abundant material on Poe daguerreotypes compiled in 1978 for Facing the Light: Historic American Portrait Daguerreotypes. Denise B. Bethel, vice president of the Swann Galleries, New York, has been an enthusiastic supporter of this project from its beginnings, answering numerous questions about nineteenth-century photography and providing reassurance and geniality when both were sorely needed. Prof. Burton R. Pollin has been a gracious and untiring mentor, and I am particularly grateful to him for lending several of the engravings reproduced herein. Special thanks are owed to Dwight Thomas, co-author of the recently published Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849, for freely sharing details of his research and for supplying the whereabouts of some highly elusive source materials. Ichigoro Uchida, author of several articles on Poe iconography published in Japan, has been an invaluable correspondent and I am grateful to him for furnishing information about the A. C. Smith and Heysinger-Sully portraits. I would also like to acknowledge my debt to the late Director of the University Press of Virginia, Walker Cowen, and to my editor, Gerald Trett, both of whom offered guidance as this project neared completion.

To librarians and museum curators I share the common debt of all researchers. I would like to thank Dr. Bruce V. English, President of the Poe Foundation, Inc., not only for his hospitality during my visit to Richmond in the spring of 1981 but for permitting me to reproduce several portraits from the Poe Museum's collection. At the Catalog of American Portraits in Washington, D.C., Linda Thrift was congenial as well as persevering in helping me to sort through file upon file of Poe portraits, both spurious and genuine. Sara S. Hodson, Assistant Curator of Literary Manuscripts at the Huntington Library, has been an especially patient and thorough correspondent, answering a profusion of questions concerning materials in the Huntington's collection. Rosemary Cullen and Sherry O'Brien of the John Hay Library, Brown University, made my visit to Providence a most profitable one. A particularly warm note of thanks goes to Neil Jordahl of the Enoch Pratt Free Library for his thoughtfulness during my visit to Baltimore in the autumn of 1985.

Mr. R. B. Bond, Jr., has made a major contribution to this volume by graciously allowing me to reproduce the remarkable watercolor portrait of Virginia Clemm Poe now in his possession. In a similar vein, I would also like to thank the following curators and private owners for furnishing me with material and in many cases granting me permission to reproduce portraits from their collections: Saundra Taylor (Lilly Library of Indiana University, Bloomington); Georgia Bumgardner (American Antiquarian Society); Kathleen Gee and Cathy Henderson (Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin); Sarah Shields, Meg Kaufmann, and Edie Jeter (all formerly with the Valentine Museum); Kenneth A. Lohf and Rudolf Ellen-bogen (Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University); Frank Walker (Fales Library of New York University); Edmund Berkeley, Jr., and Gregory Johnson (University of Virginia Library); Howell Heaney and David King (both formerly with the Free Library of Philadelphia); Amy Noel (J. Paul Getty Museum); Louis A. Rachow (Hampden-Booth Theatre Library of the Players Club); Jeff Jerome (Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, Baltimore); Sandra Tatman (The Athenaeum, Philadelphia); [page x:] Mary Alice McKay (New-York Historical Society); Giuseppe Bisaccia (Boston Public Library); Ellen G. Gartrell (Perkins Library of Duke University); Frances Miller Jensen of Ligonier, Indiana; and Pamela Reynolds of Hove, East Sussex, England. A collective but nonetheless heartfelt note of thanks goes to the many individuals who staff the deep recesses of the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, where much of the research for this volume was conducted.

Additional thanks are due J. Albert Robbins, who generously agreed to examine for me the Latto-Whitman correspondence now preserved at The Lilly Library; Linda McCurdy, who did the same with the J. H. Whitty Papers at Duke University; and Alan Assaf of the Grolier Club, New York, who foraged through numerous turn-of-the-century auction catalogues on my behalf. Joan St.C. Crane, of the University of Virginia Library, provided a number of last-minute details, along with some very welcome words of advice and encouragement. Others who have aided in the preparation of this work include Robin Bolton-Smith (National Museum of American Art); Jennifer Leigh and Richard Hurley (Brown University Library); Leslie C. Obleschuk (Poe National Historic Site, Philadelphia); Timothy Druckrey (School of Visual Arts); William E. Woolfenden (Sotheby's, New York); Henry Scarupa (the Baltimore Sun); Michael Dwyer (Copyright Office of the Library of Congress); Barbara Puorro Galasso (George Eastman House); Brad Parker of Lowell, Massachusetts; Mr. and Mrs. Alan Hering of Brooklyn, New York; and Beaumont Newhall.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to those personal friends who have proffered counsel, encouragement, and no small degree of patience during the course of my research. Mr. and Mrs. Jed Duvall played a part more important than they know in helping me to begin this undertaking; Anne Schwartz and Grant Hanessian read an early draft of the manuscript and helped refine portions of the text; Susan B. Moor supplied cogent advice and gentle criticism. To all of the above, I offer my sincere thanks.


I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Jeffrey A. Savoye, co-editor of The Collected Letters of Edgar Allan Poe and Secretary of the Poe Society of Baltimore, for his painstaking work in re-editing the 1989 edition of this book and making it available online. — MJD (02/17/2011)







[S:1 - PDEAP, 1989] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe (M. J. Deas) (Acknowledgments)