MTHM image no textThe Mark Twain House & Museum Newsletter
March 2010
From the Director's Desk
The Centennial Approaches
We're on the eve of our Centennial commemoration, and I'm thrilled at the level activity at the museum these days as we continue to celebrate Mark Twain's life. There's the new Tom Sawyer exhibition opening March 31, and a boom of activities in April, including the Clemens Lecture with Wally Lamb April 7, the Tom Sawyer Chamber Opera April 16-18 and finally our Mark Twain Seance Event April 21. We're anticipating major new stories in Hartford magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, back at the House, we're maintaining our core mission of preservation and education: Restoration research has resumed on the Mahogany Room and important drain and gutter work is about to get under way.
Come visit us!  
-- Jeffrey L. Nichols, Executive Director

What's Happening
April 7
A Clemens Lecture with Wally Lamb
Wally Lamb
A dinner at Mark Twain's house with the author himself, Walter Camp, the founder of Yale football' and Nikolá Tesla, the Serbian inventor and electrical engineer -- this may seem an an odd incident in a heart-rending novel that confronts the Columbine massacre and the chaotic past roots of present-day tragedy.

But it's an important element in Wally Lamb's acclaimed 2008 novel, The Hour I First Believed. And on Wednesday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m., Lamb will speak on the creation of this work -- and other subjects -- in a Clemens Lecture organized by The Mark Twain House & Museum.
The event will take place at The Hartford's Wallace Stevens Theater, 690 Asylum Ave., Hartford. (The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., is the Mark Twain House & Museum's Centennial Sponsor.) Tickets are $25 ($20 for members) and can be purchased by calling 860-280-3130.
March 31: Tom Sawyer Exhibit Opens 
Ebony Hillbillies

It's the book that brought American childhood to life in unexpectedly realistic, hilarious and even shocking ways for late enineteenth-century America. Our exhibit homoring The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will feature popular culture artifacts related to the book, and include fun, family-friendly activities. Participants can dress up as characters in the book, "paint" a fence like Tom, and enjoy puzzles and games. A reading area will allow both children and adults to read some of the many editions of Tom Sawyer, from the original to foreign-language editions and comic book adaptations. Sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and by the Saunders Foundation, the exhibit is open during regular museum hours, and of course included with admission.

A Thank You to Donors 
Icebox arrives
 From a LEGO Mark Twain House and an 1890s icebox for the Clemenses' kitchen (which Chief Curator Patti Philippon inspects at right), to Twain first editions and  a 1935 Tom Sawyer board game, our collections have benefited from the generosity of many donors of curatorial objects over the past  year. For more complete information, click here.
Dede DeRoas
Mark Twain Said:
Don't you know what that is? It's spring fever. That is what the name of
it is.  And when you've got it, you want--oh, you don't quite know what
it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it
so! -- Tom Sawyer, Detective

A Seance, an Ace of Cakes Cake, A VIP Tour 

Tom Sawyer fence

On the Centennial of his death, we celebrate Mark Twain's life in  a big way. A thrilling seance, with illusionist Todd Collins (pictured) and Victorian-style flim-flammery! A majestic Mark Twain House Cake from the Ace of Cakes folk! A special ghost tour with Lorraine Warren! Tickets are  $60 for the seance performance and the cake celebration, or $150 for the seance, cake and the Warren tour (which is nearly sold out). Call 860-280-3130. Read more here.
A Hartford Opera Theatre competition to create an opera based on Twain's classic story of Tom-foolery resulted in a lively, moving winning work by composer Phillip Martin. The hour-long opera, will receive its world premiere at the Museum Center Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 18, 2:00 p.m. Tickets $10; call 860- 280-3130.
Dede DeRoas
Thanks to our Mark Twain Centennial Celebration Sponsor, The Hartford 
The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author's Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.  In addition to providing tours of Twain's restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain's literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m.  For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit Programs at the Mark Twain House & Museum are supported by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Steve Courtney, Editor