The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, October 23, 2014


Unpublished Mark Twain Family Sketch Set for NY Auction
A detail where a pin is stuck through the manuscript of the unpublished “Family Sketch”, that will be offered in upcoming Sotheby's auction in New York June 17, 2010. Twain, known for his curmudgeonly wit and storytelling, is shown as a family man and loving father in "A Family Sketch," a never published tribute to a daughter who inspired two of his stories and died at 24 after contracting spinal meningitis. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer.
NEW YORK, NY (AP).- Mark Twain, known for his curmudgeonly wit and storytelling, is shown as a family man and loving father in "A Family Sketch," a never published tribute to a daughter who inspired two of his stories and died at 24 after contracting spinal meningitis.

"She was a magazine of feelings, & they were of all kinds & of all shades of force," he wrote of Olivia "Susy" Clemens shortly after her death in 1896.

"In all things she was intense: in her this characteristic was not a mere glow, dispensing warmth, but a consuming fire," he said of the daughter who was the inspiration for his "Joan of Arc" and "A Horse's Tale."

The 64-page, handwritten document is among a trove of 200 personal letters, manuscripts and photographs of Mark Twain — the pen name for Samuel Langhorne Clemens — going on sale June 17 at Sotheby's New York.

The auction house will exhibit the material for five days, beginning Wednesday, on the 100th anniversary of the author's death at age 74. The Associated Press got a preview earlier this week.

"'A Family Sketch' is certainly one of the gems of the Sotheby's sale," said David Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Papers & Projects at the University of California at Berkeley, which has the largest repository of Twain material. "Any Mark Twain archive or collector would be willing to go hungry for two or three years just in order to be able to buy it."

Hirst called it a "very intimate family record, with all of the charm both of Clemens himself," his family and household servants. It is estimated to sell for $120,000 to $180,000.

Twain was also a prolific letter-writer.

"It's fair to say he wrote more letters than anyone," said Twain biographer Michael Shelden, noting that about 15,000 are known to exist.

Among those at Sotheby's is a letter to Twain's future father-in-law, Jervis Langdon, in which the love-struck suitor, then working as a newspaperman, defends his character and offers a list of character references.

"I am not hurrying my love — it is my love hurrying me...," Twain wrote Langdon. "As to what I am going to be, henceforth, it is a thing which must be proven & established. I am upon the right path — I shall succeed, I hope. Men as lost as I, have found a Savior, & why not I?"

The nine-page letter, written in 1868 and signed Sam L. Clemens, is estimated to sell for $30,000 to $50,000.

The total collection, which could bring $750,000 to $1.2 million, belonged to the late media executive James S. Copley, whose library of other literary and historic manuscripts also will be sold June 17.

Hirst said the University of California, which controls the copyright on "A Family Sketch" and virtually everything else by Mark Twain that is still protected by copyright, will be bidding at the auction, but he declined to say on what.

The university is editing and publishing — for the first time — Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. The first of three volumes will be released by the UC Press in November, on the 175th anniversary of his birth.

Hirst said "A Family Sketch" will not be included in the three-volume set because it is not part of what Twain designed as his autobiography. Instead, the university plans to publish the work — either from the original or copies it owns — in a series called "Jumping Frogs," he said.

The Mark Twain House, the whimsical, Gothic house in Hartford, Conn., where the Twains lived for 17 years, is now a museum. While the curators at the house would love to own the original sketch, they frequently use a transcript to cull anecdotes about the family for its guided tours.

"It talks a lot about the family's life while they were in Hartford," said curator Patti Philoton. "It really gives you that personal feeling, what it was like when they lived here, their family dynamics and their dynamics with their servants."

In 1893, Twain asked his butler, George Griffin, to accompany him on a trip to his publisher. The sight of a white man with a black man "was a new spectacle" to the array of assembled clerks, he wrote in the sketch. "The glance embarrassed George, but not me, for the companionship was proper; in some ways he was my equal, in some others my superior ..."

"A Family Sketch" also provides a glimpse into Twain's childhood in a passage in which he describes shooting a bird as a prank.

"It toppled from its perch & came floating down limp & forlorn & fell at my feet, its song quenched and its unoffending life extinguished ... I had destroyed it wantonly, & I felt all that an assassin feels, of grief & remorse when his deed comes home to him & he wishes he could undo it ..."

The last time a large collection of Twain material was offered at auction was in 2003, also at Sotheby's. That collection, which contained more memorabilia and souvenirs, sold for $1.4 million.

The upcoming sale is focused primarily on manuscript material that shows Twain "as a father and devoted husband and how important his family was to him throughout his entire lifetime," said Elizabeth Muller, Sotheby's vice president of books and manuscripts.

While there is a wealth of material on Mark Twain and fresh documents come up regularly, the Copley collection "will add to the picture" of a man who continues to inspire and entertain to this day, Shelden said.

"He wanted to perpetuate his fame," Shelden said. "He was very proud of himself and very proud of what he had written. He was full of himself ... and had reason to be."




Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

New York | Mark Twain | Samuel Langhorne Clemens |




Today's News

April 22, 2010

Fifty Years Later, Brazil's Utopian Capital Brasilia, Faces Reality, Hopes and Obstacles

Green Auction at Christie's to Mark 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

Behind-the-Scenes Photos of The Rolling Stones to Be Shown at Scream Gallery

Sotheby's Announces its First Ever Outdoor Exhibition at Sudeley Castle

International Media Artists in Osnabrück for 23rd European Media Art Festival

Vladimir Lenin Exhibit Returns to Ukraine After Two Decades

African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art Announced at Sotheby's

Richard Kern Presents a Selected Body of Work at Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery

Japanese Art at Bonhams Puts Armour in the Spotlight with Beards and Dragons

Katherine Bowling: Moments of Grace at DC Moore Gallery

Just Off Madison: An Open House of American Art at Private Dealers

Unpublished Mark Twain Family Sketch Set for NY Auction

"Original" Reproductions by Marcel Duchamp at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Ray Barton, Creator of Minnesota Twins Logo, Dies at Age 80

National Gallery Announces Display of Paintings by Frederick Cayley Robinson

One-of-a-Kind, Wearable Brooches at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life Opens

Bankrupt Fresno Metropolitan Museum Won't Sell Rare Ansel Adams Prints

Artist Purvis Young Dead at the Age of 67

Birmingham Museum of Art Third Stop in State for Helen Keller Statue and Exhibit Tour

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



Invisible Exports announces the New York solo debut of work and objects by Bob Mizer

Six weeks after, New York City artists seek help to scrub away superstorm Sandy's stains

Just discovered Scharl Portrait of Einstein up for sale for first time

New York State Museum exhibits historic images from Burns archives

La Dolce Vita: 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties at Eataly New York

The Art of Playboy, Gil Elvgren, Golden Age greats headline Fall New York illustration art auction

Costa Rica reclaims artifacts from the prestigious Brooklyn Museum in New York

Doyle New York to auction the Arthur Rothstein photograph collection in October

New study identifies pine bush as "Stop Over" for migrating birds

Chinese Gilt-Bronze Bell achieves $482,500 at Doyle New York's Asian works of art sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site