The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum
In 1839, a group of gentlemen calling themselves The Alexandria Lyceum joined with the Alexandria Library Company to build a grand hall to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading.
Eventually, the building itself became known as The Lyceum and, since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation's first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria's History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria's history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.
Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31 at 8 p.m., actor David Keltz returns to The Lyceum to re-create Edgar Allan Poe's visit to Virginia in 1849, shortly before he died. Keltz performs varying selections each year, but the program always includes a chilling story or two such as "The Black Cat," "The Cask of Amontillado," or "The Tell-Tale Heart," along with well-known poems "The Raven" and "El Dorado." Tickets are $15 per person, and are available by calling The Lyceum at 703-746-4994 or through the online shop.
This teapot, in The Lyceum’s Howard W. Smith, Jr. Collection, demonstrates the beautiful and high quality work produced by Charles A. Burnett. Burnett, born in Virginia in 1769 was working by 1790. Although the reference has been lost, according to tradition he advertised in Alexandria in 1793. Burnett moved his shop to Georgetown by 1800, where he produced and retailed silver for close to fifty years.
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