Portrait of Gertrude Clarke Whittall (detail)
A Virtual Tour of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress
The Poetry Room was formally dedicated in 1951, on April 23—William Shakespeare's birthday. The guest of honor was Library benefactor Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who gave funds for the development of a poetry center in December 1950. Today Whittall’s portrait hangs in the eastern end of the room, overlooking the legacy of her charity.