"Supposing is Good, But Finding Out is Better"


There’s only one week left to decide the design of our 2013 United Arts Print for our Pick Your Print campaign, but there’s still plenty of time to make sure your favorite print design gets chosen! This time around, see what the Gale sisters from Hartford Prints! think about one of America’s favorite authors as they turn the spotlight on (or close read for you literary types) the statue of Mark Twain in front of the Hartford Public Library.

AHartford Print Sisters with Namesddy – Older Sister
Mark Twain is another Hartford favorite of mine and, like Calder’s Stegosaurus, I have very specific associations with him from when I was a little girl.  I always thought that the brick work above the windows on The Mark Twain House made the house look as though it has eyelashes!  The man himself is an equally impressive figure, with those eyebrows and that mustache.  I love the sculpture of him placed in front of the main branch of the Hartford Public Library, particularly when seen in profile.  What really makes the sculpture special and interesting is its location.  Mark Twain stands under a spectacular sycamore tree and next to another sculpture which is very, very modern.  Together, these three elements create interesting juxtapositions between the natural and the man-made, the representative and the abstract, and the classic and the modern.  It would be fascinating to try translating all of this into a woodcut print.

Callie – Middle Sister
Mark Twain’s presence looms over Hartford. We are so lucky that such a prolific author, Samuel Clemens, was writing his most infamous works while living in our city. According to the Mark Twain House, “Clemens…spent his life observing and reporting on his surroundings,” and so he must have taken some inspiration from Hartford, its environment, as well as its people. Encountering Mark Twain outside of the Hartford Public Library on Main Street is fitting, since not only are most of his works found inside, but it also speaks to Twain’s sense of purposeful storytelling. Every one of his books has an underlying theme and moral driven by a deep sense of right and wrong, for as he once said, “Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” This print, to me, illustrates that beautiful harmony between writing, reading, and storytelling, in order to lift up the human spirit and better the world around us.

Twain at the LibraryRory – Younger Sister
I love the architecture of the Hartford Public Library and think that it’s fitting to have Mark Twain, standing tall, overseeing the books.  Mark Twain fits perfectly on Main Street, leaning against his riverboat wheel.  I love how his books transport you on outlandish adventures.  Like a Twain novel, our adventure began by starting Hartford Prints! and with every turn of the riverboat wheel we encounter new opportunities and obstacles with the bravery of Huckleberry Finn and the gumption of Tom Sawyer.  I think that like his books, our art has the ability to transport the viewer, and this print would do just that.  We’ll take inspiration from the statue, history and stories of Mark Twain.  Let’s jump off the page and take an adventure together.

Think one of America’s favorite authors should grace the pages of our prints? VOTE NOW to help one of America’s favorite authors grace the many pages of our prints this year! Next up: The Art in Hartford Map, which highlights important public art pieces from around the city!

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