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Edgar Allan Poe: Examining Portraiture

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Language Arts And English +3

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Edgar Allan Poe, an American poet and author known for his stories of mystery, horror, and the macabre. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  


  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how Edgar Allan Poe wanted to be seen, or how others wanted him to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as the photograph, the stamp, the painting, etc.).
  • Having read one of his works, does the portrait capture your image of Edgar Allan Poe? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: boston, massachusetts, ma, baltimore, maryland, md, allen, gothic, raven, tell tale heart

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Edgar Allan Poe

National Portrait Gallery

3c Edgar Allan Poe single

National Postal Museum

Edgar Allan Poe

National Portrait Gallery

Edgar Allan Poe

Smithsonian American Art Museum