This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Library Exhibition Illuminates Life and Work of Mark Twain

“Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn,” an exhibition of letters, artwork, manuscripts, books, and articles relating to the works of Mark Twain, will be on view at the Vassar College Libraries through May 23. This exhibition commemorates two anniversaries: the 125th anniversary of the publication of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. Highlights include photographs of the author; Twain’s written memoirs about life along the Mississippi River; materials that shed light on the writing process for both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; documents related to the artwork for the books and the role of the artist in showcasing the stories; historical documents concerning the controversial charge of racism leveled against Twain; recent fine print editions ofHuckleberry Finn; and modern critiques of Twain’s work, including Black, White, and Huckleberry Finn (2000) by Elaine and Harry Mensch.

The exhibition catalogue for “Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn” includes essays by former Vassar College president Alan Simpson, who comments on the Jean Webster McKinney papers that made Vassar a significant center of Mark Twain scholarship, and Vassar English professor H. Daniel Peck, who addresses the autobiographical nature of Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Professor Peck has written about Mark Twain on numerous occasions throughout his academic career and recently wrote the introduction to the Barnes & Noble edition of Tom Sawyer.

July 2009

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