The purpose of this project is to celebrate Samuel L. Clemens' life in Redding, Connecticut by documenting and showcasing his time here in multiple formats both online and offline. Your donations & site sponsorships will help me dedicate more time to these projects and allow me to get them online sooner.

Friday, December 11

Mark Twain Library Archive Treasures

In deep need of "de-stressing" I traveled down to Redding this week to see what I could find in the archives that... I had not found before! Mission accomplished, I found some amazing items. Here are several I thought others may enjoy.

Experimental photo negative engraving plates of Sam and George Eastman. These portraits, which Eastman developed, were given to Eastman's chauffeur, William Carter. They became the property of George Hollett in 1946. Hollett donated them to the Mark Twain Library in 2005.

Handcarved replica of the Mississippi River Boat, Eclipse. This was carved by one of the Stormfield burglars and donated to the library by Clara Clemens.

Hal Foster not only created artwork of Twain, he also served as the Library's President.

Mark Twain and his Characters Display at the Mark Twain Library.

Close up of the "characters" display.

Interesting find in the archives...four (4) Hiawatha Heirloom Needle Paintings of Mark Twain's Birthplace. These were sent to the library in the 1960's by William A. Romkey of New York. Romkey inquired about the use of these needle paintings for the Library's fund raising efforts.

Brad Kelly Discovers Russians Enthusiastic Over Mark Twain. Many articles in the archives about Kelly's efforts and the books that were donated to the library. The library has the books and at the present a Redding resident is working on translating this Russian book collection.

February 1962

Dear Mr. Kelly,

I think it is a superb idea to harmonize the Russians and Americans through their authors or any other possible means.

It is dreadful to live in a World of enmity towards anyone, and of course I sympathize most particularly with your plans, as I am sure Father would.

That would be a reason for authorship that the whole world must respect and give its heart to.

I wish to thank you and Mrs. Kelley most cordially for your good wishes, and also to give you our, Mr. Samossoud and mine.

I must wish you tremendous success with your undertaking, and I offer my heartfelt sympathy with your great plan.

Sincerely yours,
Clara Clemens Samossoud

Paul Newman Stained Glass art on display at the 2009 Art Show this week.

View the Connecticut Twain Connections