This Weekend: Mark Twain and Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell was inspired by Twain.

By Lauren Petty
|  Friday, Sep 2, 2011  |  Updated 3:32 PM EDT
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Enjoy the works of Mark Twain and Norman Rockwell at the Twain House this weekend.

Enjoy the works of Mark Twain and Norman Rockwell at the Twain House this weekend.

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Mark Twain's legacy in Connecticut is well known, but what you might not know is that Twain is linked with iconic painter Normal Rockwell and you can learn more about that this weekend at the Mark Twain House and Museum.

When Twain died in 1910, Rockwell was just a boy and little did he know the influence Twain's words would have on his life.

When Heritage Press published editions of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in 1935 and 1940, the publisher asked Rockwell to provide illustrations.

"Rockwell was really honored to be asked. He called it the chance of a lifetime to illustrate these two great classic American books,” Patti Philippon, curator of the Mark Twain House & Museum, said.

Rockwell was the first illustrator to go to Hannibal, Missouri to see Twain's inspiration for the stories and American Storytellers: Norman Rockwell & Mark Twain combines the work of the two artists.

"What you can see in this exhibit is Rockwell's process in how he's working. How he's sketching, his preliminary sketch and then on to the final product," Philippon said.

The exhibit explores common themes in both artists’ works, like mischief. It’s a key component of Twain's characters and in Rockwell's painting called "The Shiner."

These pieces in the exhibit are on loan from other museums and this weekend is your last chance to see them together.

"The museum will be showing exhibit through Monday and then it's closed down and all the pieces go back to their rightful owners," Philippon said.

If you've already toured the Twain House, you can buy a separate $6 museum ticket and see how Norman Rockwell brought Mark Twain's words to life.
 

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