George R.R. Martin Pitched In to Pay For a Bronze Bust of Edgar Allan Poe at the BPL
Edgar Allan Poe is coming.
The master of dragons, the king of feuding sovereignties, the scribe of the Seven Kingdoms—yes, we’re talking about George R.R. Martin, here—anonymously threw down money to help fund a Kickstarter campaign to create a bronze bust of Poe that will be placed on permanent display at the Boston Public Library come October.
According to members of the Edgar Allan Poe Bronze Bust Project, the driving force behind the initiative to bring the tribute to Poe to the BPL, Martin and his wife contributed an undisclosed amount to help get them to their fundraising goal of $30,000.
Project organizers didn’t know the Martins were even donors until they started sending out rewards level surveys to backers who contributed to the bust, according to their Facebook page and an interview with The Dig.
“Basically, the story goes, we were reaching out to sponsors and this one woman said, ‘can you add my husband’s name [to the donor list],'” Bryan Moore, who’s sculpting the bust, told Boston. “I told her of course, and then she said, ‘it’s George R.R. Martin,’ and I thought, wait, that sounds way too familiar! I was like, ‘Oh, Jesus, of course I can put his name on there!’ That’s the basic story.”
Thanks to Martin and his wife, and 228 other backers—not to mention mythical-monster film director Guillermo Del Toro—the project is apparently coming along nicely.
Not only has the group secured enough funding to bring the small-scale statue to fruition, they’ve also begun the first steps in creating some of Poe’s body parts. In a recent video on their Facebook page, where daily updates are shared with followers tracking the progress, make-up artist Andy Chavez is seen casting the hand of actor Jeffrey Combs after he dips his arm into a bucket of grey goop.
The pedestal for the bust is also complete, and the plaque that will bear the names of the donors is already at the foundry being made.
The bronze bust will officially become a staple at the BPL for the public to enjoy on October 30.
Boston is getting ready to welcome a lot of Poe-based artwork to the city that month, but with good reason. After all, this was a place where the dark author spent a significant portion of his time, even if a lot of it was used to stew internally and criticize local writers.
On October 5, just weeks before the bronze bust is installed at the BPL, the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston, a non-profit group, will unveil a life-sized version of Poe striding through what’s known officially as “Poe Square,” at the intersection of Boylston Street and Charles Street South, near Poe’s former residence.
The ceremonial unveiling of the statue, created by artist Stefanie Rocknak, will be held just a few days before the 165th anniversary of the writer’s death on October 7, 1849. Shawmut Design and Construction of Boston has been hired to install the sculpture in a process that will begin in September.