"That Reminds Me of a Story"
“That Reminds Me of a Story”
Image size: 6 3/4" x 7 1/4" - Edition: 50 signed and numbered, 15 remarqued artist proofs.
Mark Twain (Sam Clemens) got his start in Virginia City, just up the mountain from my studio in Dayton.
As a young reporter for the "Territorial Enterprise" in Virginia City, Sam Clemens adopted the pen name "Mark Twain".
In 1981, actor Hal Holbrook brought his world famous impersonation of Mark Twain to the historic "Piper's Opera House" in Virginia City.
I approached Mr. Holbrook at Piper’s Opera House, before his performance, and asked if he would pose for a painting as Mark Twain. He agreed and after the show and everyone had left he came out on stage and did a private performance for the photo session.
The painting was completed in 1985, the year that Haley's Comet made its next return in the heavens.
The significance of this year is marked by the fact that Mark Twain was born in 1835, a year Haleys Comet appeared. Mark Twain said he’d go out with Haley’s Comet when it returned 75 years later. He passed away as Haley’s Comet returned in 1910.
In 1985, with my daughters and friends in tow, we went up to Virginia City one evening to see Haleys Comet as it passed by.
The dates of the comets arrival, as related to Mark Twain and the painting are reflected in the frame. The frame contains one of Norman Rockwell's paintings of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, one of Mark Twains beloved tales.
Hal Holbrook returned many years later to Piper’s Opera House. A group of us went to see him and show him the painting and give a framed copy. He loved the painting and was amazed that he could see himself in the likeness.
Mr. Holbrook later posed for me once again for the painting “Victory Train.”