Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. Regarded as being part of the American Romantic Movement, Poe was an author, poet, editor and literary critic, and although he struggled to earn a living from writing during his lifetime, his work has had a profound impact on literature and popular culture.

Poe died at the age of 40, on October 7, 1949, in Baltimore, Maryland, and as seems appropriate for a writer best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, the exact cause of his death seems to be open to conjecture to this day.

From Wikipedia:

On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul."

A Birthday Cake 

No birthday celebration is complete without a cake and there couldn't possibly be a more appropriate cake for the occasion than this red velvet work of art from dessert artisan, Heather, of the Sprinkle Bakes blog. If you're up for the challenge of attempting to recreate this edible homage, you can get the recipe, instructions and downloadable template of Poe's portrait here.  

A Birthday Treat

Here is a clip of the incomparable Vincent Price reciting Poe's masterpiece, The Raven.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Charles Addams!

Charles Addams Tribute Painting by Pete Von Sholly

The birthday of Charles Addams, one of my creative idols, falls so close to the beginning of the year that I am able to make it the subject of my very first post for 2013. For me, the perfect way to embark upon the next 12 months. It also gives me a great excuse to share a painting I love by artist, Pete Von Sholly.

Charles "Chas" Addams was born on January 7, 1912, in Westfield, New Jersey, and died on September 29, 1988. Von Sholly's amusing and poignant tribute shows the cartoonist, and creator of The Addams Family, looking down benevolently upon his creations after having been called forth during a seance.