Support The Mark Twain House & Museum
A donation to this campaign supports the general fund for The Mark Twain House & Museum. The museum depends on contributions from donors like you to ensure the preservation of the Clemens family Hartford home. Your support also allows us to share our enriching programs and events with our community-- approximately 150 each year. Over 40% of our annual operating income comes from individual, corporate and foundation supporters. Your dollars are integral to our success, and we thank you for your support.
Hartford Creative Contest
The Mark Twain House joins Asylum Hill residents, SUSO (Step Up, Step Out, End the Culture of Violence), Mothers United Against Violence, and Beckett Law in sponsoring the Hartford Creative Contest. The contest invites Hartford students in grades 4-12 to express their opinions and feelings on matters that affect their lives. The contest started out with just essays and then, as requested by students, grew to include poetry and visual art as well. It is free for students to submit entries and funds raised go toward the prizes, a print booklet of the winning submissions and a winner celebration.
Collections Fund: Steam-Ship Quaker City Lithograph
You can play a role in the conservation of a vital piece of our collection! A wonderful way to participate in Giving Tuesday and celebrate Mark Twain's birthday!
Steam-Ship Quaker City is a 22.25" x 35.5” lithograph on paper, hand-colored with watercolors, owned by Mark Twain. Printed by the New York firm of Macoy & Herwig circa 1860. The image is by John Lawrence Giles, a successful lithography artist of the 19th century whose work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
The lithograph illuminates a significant and defining aspect of Mark Twain’s life and career. The Quaker City was the ship that Twain sailed on in 1867 for the five month cruise to Europe and the “Holy Land” that he immortalized in his book, Innocents Abroad. This book was his first major success and was his best-selling book during his lifetime. In addition to leading to fame and financial success, Twain’s experiences on the Quaker City cruise furthered his enthusiasm for world travel, piqued his curiosity about the lives and cultures of people in other countries, and led to his strong belief that exposure to other cultures broadened one’s views and made one more tolerant. As he famously wrote in Innocents Abroad: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”
In addition to having a transformative impact on Twain’s career, the Quaker City also determined the future of his personal life. He met his beloved wife Olivia through her brother, a fellow passenger on the ship.
The lithograph has media losses and flaking that need to be addressed and staining that needs to be cleaned. In addition, the print is mounted to a paper board that is acidic and degrading the back of the print. The board must be removed to prevent further degradation.
Funds raised will go toward treatment of the lithograph by professional conservators. As a supporter of the Steam-Ship Quaker City Lithograph conservation project, you will receive occasional updates on the progress of the project, on condition we receive the full funding needed to begin the project. If funds are raised over and above the cost of this project, the remaining funds will be applied to our Collections Fund to restore other items.