Malkin Lecture: Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated Artists Decorate Mark Twain’s House

Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated Artists
Decorate Mark Twain’s House

Mark Twain and his family moved into their new house in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1874 and lived there until 1891. The years between were filled with endless dinner parties, billiard games, the raising of three daughters, the meteoric rise of Twain’s literary success, and the ascendance of his social standing in the elite Nook Farm neighborhood. In 1881, the family hired Associated Artists, the decorating firm put together by Louis Comfort Tiffany, to redecorate the interior of the house just after the firm finished its work at the Park Avenue Armory. Tracy Brindle, the Mark Twain House’s new curator, will examine Twain’s connections with Tiffany and Associated Artists, including Candace Wheeler, Lockwood de Forest, and Samuel Colman, and the extensive decoration of the house, known by Twain as “the loveliest home that ever was.” The house went through many alterations through the decades, coming close to demolition at one time, and has undergone a series of meticulous restorations since 2003.

Tracy Brindle is the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Chief Curator at The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. She joined the museum’s staff in April 2015. New to the East Coast, she previously worked as the Collections & Exhibitions Assistant at Midway Village Museum in Rockford, Illinois, a living history museum composed of a group of structures of the Gilded Age. There she was involved in many exhibitions and translated the museum’s collections into compelling local stories as author of an acclaimed museum blog.

Image: The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford, CT


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