Howard Phillips Lovecraft, a Providence native, felt inextricably linked to the city where he spent much of his life and derived much of his literary inspiration.
Although Lovecraft was not a member of the Athenæum, he lived half a block from the library, up the hill on College Street. He visited the library frequently and wrote about it in his stories and letters. He called the library “…our old Athenæum, where Poe spent many an hour, and wrote his name at the bottom of one of his unsigned poems in a magazine…” (Letter to James F. Morton, 3 May 1923). Many local landmarks (including the Athenæum), as well as a number of public figures and events from the history of the state, are woven into the plots and settings of his stories such as “The Shunned House” and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
The H.P. Lovecraft bronze bust on the main level was created by sculptor Bryan Moore and donated to the Athenæum in August 2013. You can find more information on the bust under Sculpture in the Art Collection section of our site.