The Museum Collection

Frances Keeling Valentine Allan Portrait

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Creator: Robert Sully
Date: ca. 1828
Format: Oil on Metal
Source: Edward Virginius Valentine
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


This is one of two known life portraits of Edgar Allan Poe's foster mother, Frances Allan (1785-1829), who cared for Poe after his biological mother died when he was two years old. Poe was devoted to Mrs. Allan but quarreled frequently with her husband, John Allan. George Mayo gave this portrait to the Valentine Museum, and Edward Virginius Valentine donated it to the Poe Museum. The portrait appears to be a slightly modified copy of one painted of Mrs. Allan by Thomas Sully around 1804. The work is attributed to Poe's friend Robert Sully.