Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

1/1/2007 - 6/30/2008

Funding Totals

$3,581.00 (approved)
$3,581.00 (awarded)

The Mark Twain House and Museum Furniture Conservation Assessment Project

FAIN: PG-50068-07

Mark Twain Memorial (Hartford, CT 06105-6400)
Patricia Philippon (Project Director: May 2006 to April 2008)

A conservation assessment of 95 pieces of 19th- and early 20th-century furniture, most of which are displayed in the Mark Twain House where Samuel Clemens and his family lived from 1874 until 1891. Sixty of the furnishings belonged to the author or his immediate family and include an elaborately carved bed purchased in Venice in 1878, Twain's billiard table, and a crib.

The Mark Twain House and Museum will engage a conservation professional to conduct a conservation assessment of the most important furniture pieces in the museum's collections. These pieces include furniture that belonged to Mark Twain and his family, as well as other 19th-century pieces that are on display in the landmark Mark Twain House, including items by such notable furniture makers as the Herter Brothers and Pottier & Stymus. The conservator will inspect the pieces and make both short and long-term recommendations for their maintenance and preservation, as well as specific conservation treatment recommendations and estimates for any items in need of treatment. This project will allow the museum to set conservation priorities for the collection, and ensure that the furniture pieces are properly preserved so that they can continue to be displayed for the public's edification in the historic Mark Twain House and in exhibitions at the museum and at other cultural institutions.