Norman Rockwell’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

An exhibition organized by Norman Rockwell Museum

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About the Exhibition

These were classics. I read through the books, making notes of which scenes would make good pictures. Of course certain scenes—for instance, Tom whitewashing his Aunt Polly’s fence—were required.
—Norman Rockwell

In 1935, George Macy, the publisher of the Heritage Press and Limited Editions Club books, invited Norman Rockwell to illustrate Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Rockwell visited Hannibal, Missouri, Twain’s boyhood town, to find authentic details to include in his work. Twain’s vivid descriptions of character, setting and mood were an inspiration to the illustrator, who considered each of the writer’s scenes to be “complete and perfect to the last detail.”

The sixteen signed limited edition prints from Rockwell’s own collection comprise this exhibition featuring the artist’s timeless images for these American classics.

Image Left: Tom Sawyer Whitewashing the Fence, 1936. Illustration for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections. Easton Press, ©MBI , Inc.

Huck Teaching Tom and Joe to Smoke, 1936 “detail”
Collotype Easton Press, ©MBI, INC. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections

About Norman Rockwell

Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed.
—Norman Rockwell

Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At age 14, Rockwell enrolled in art classes at The New York School of Art (formerly The Chase School of Art). Two years later, in 1910, he left high school to study art at The National Academy of Design. He soon transferred to The Art Students League, where he studied with Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgman. Fogarty’s instruction in illustration prepared Rockwell for his first commercial commissions. From Bridgman, Rockwell learned the technical skills on which he relied throughout his long career.

Rockwell found success early. He painted his first commission of four Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday. While still in his teens, he was hired as art director of Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, and began a successful freelance career illustrating a variety of young people’s publications.

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There is currently no media for this exhibition at this time.

Host this Exhibition

Contact Information:

Mary Melius
Manager of Traveling Exhibitions


Complete Facts
Contents: 16 signed prints, H: 271/2″ x W: 211/2″ x D: 1″, introductory, biographical and photo panels included
Security: Moderate, security hardware required
Environment: Light level-10-foot candles, humidity-50% plus or minus 5%, temperature 68º-72º, no direct sunlight, heated/air conditioned facility

Venues Hosting This Exhibition

2017 – Forward, available for travel