Norman Rockwell Collector's Edition
A great American novelist, illustrated by a great American artist—now available in a collectible two-volume set
In 1936, the Heritage Press, a publisher of fine editions, commissioned Norman Rockwell to illustrate Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer; four years later, they asked him to illustrate The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well. For each book, Rockwell created eight full-color paintings and numerous pen-and-ink drawings, the product of extensive on-the-ground research in Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. Famously, Rockwell even tried to buy some Hannibal residents’ old clothes, to dress his models in.
For years, the Rockwell editions of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have been unavailable in stores. Now, Abbeville Press is proud to reissue them as a handsome new clothbound set. The color plates are reproduced from new photography of Rockwell’s original paintings, the typesetting has been done anew to a high standard, and new introductions—illustrated with Rockwell’s rarely seen preliminary sketches—examine this unique encounter between two legendary chroniclers of America.
Publisher’s note: These volumes present Mark Twain’s text unabridged and unedited, as it appeared in the original American editions of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885).
The Definitive Edition
The life of America’s most beloved artist, in his own words—back in print with restored text and drawings, new illustrations, and more
The wit, humanity, and many-sided talent of Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) are on full display in his classic autobiography. Rockwell’s New York City boyhood, his apprentice days at the Art Students League, his first fateful visit to the Saturday Evening Post, his adventures abroad, his move to rural Vermont—all are recounted with a mix of sharp observation and self-deprecating humor. Throughout Rockwell invites the reader into his artistic process: he introduces his favorite models, candidly reveals his biggest flops, and documents the creation of a Post cover step by step.
This Definitive Edition restores the original 1960 text of My Adventures as an Illustrator, as well as the playful vignettes that Rockwell drew to head each chapter. Thanks to a massive image digitization effort undertaken by the Norman Rockwell Museum, it is also illustrated with more than 150 of Rockwell’s paintings and drawings, many of which highlight lesser-known aspects of his work. A new introduction by the artist’s granddaughter Abigail Rockwell adds reference value, as do an illustrated chronology and an annotated bibliography prepared by the staff of the Norman Rockwell Museum.
This attractive volume will be the essential source on the life of Norman Rockwell, and delightful reading for anyone who enjoys his art. Plus, its publication coincides with a major new exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum concerning the autobiographical elements in the artist’s work (Norman Rockwell: Private Moments for the Masses, June 8 through October 27, 2019).