Hi: I've got a question that I'm hoping that a Mark Twain scholar somewhere can answer. I work at the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site in Florida, Missouri, and am currently going through each item in the 1993 donation to the museum from the Mark Twain Research Foundation, updating its information in our Past Perfect program. I have written to Harriet Smith of the Mark Twain Project about this question as well. The attached sketch is 2.75" high and 2.0" wide and is attached to a folded piece of paper 9.25" high and 6.75" wide (13.5" wide, opened). The paper backing and the sketch are yellowed with age, could have been cream or white to start with. The writing in ink at the top of the page, identifying the sketch, is faded to brown. As the only information in the accession record is "photographic print of Mark Twain," I'd like to correct and expand on that. It is not a photograph, but an etching, probably based on a photograph. Could it be a W. H. W. Bicknell etching? If so, for what purpose? I cannot find it online, have checked out the information Barbara Schmidt has posted on the 1899 Uniform Editions, have checked out the images on the Mark Twain Project. I'd also like to identify the photograph. Where and when was it taken? I'm thinking sometime in the 1890's based on the photos in the MT Project listings. London, 1897, Alfred Ellis sittings? I may very well be limiting myself by date of photo and name of artist. This is not an original etching, but a copy, possibly used by a secretary in sending pictures to fans. I've tried to make the photos small enough to download, but I am a bit technologically challenged, so I hope it works. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
Interpretive Resource Specialist II
Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site
37352 Shrine Rd
Stoutsville, MO 65283
Historic Site Office: 573- 565-3449 or 573-565-2194 (Archives)