Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Illustrations - Page 5


Selznick's TOM SAWYER promoted in vintage lobby card

May Robson as Aunt Polly abuses Tom Sawyer's left ear in a 1937 lobby card for David O. Selznick's Technicolor motion picture of THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Sam Clemens.


Chris Winkler and Perva Lou Smith 1956 Hannibal's first Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher souvenir 3.60 x 4.95 inch tin box with a 2 1/4 inch deep lid.


On May 5, 1956, Hannibal crowned its first Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, Chris Winkler and Perva Lou Smith, in front of 1,200 St. Louis children. Thus began a program designed to have young people from Hannibal to serve as ambassadors for Hannibal and the tourist industry.

Prior to the announcement, word of the event reached Walt Disney. Coincidently, Mr. Disney was opening Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland in June of that year and an invitation was extended to the winners of the Tom and Becky contest to participate in opening ceremonies.

On the 4 sides of the tin box are printed photos of local Hannibal sights:
1st East side of Main Street between Hill and Bird Streets
2nd The Boyhood Home and the original Museum that was build of stone.
3rd Chris as Tom with a boy posing as Huck afloat on a raft on the Mississippi.
4th The steamboat AVALON (now the BELLE of LOUISVILLE) passing under the old Mark Twain Memorial Bridge.

When Chris Winkler's mother Stelle, and Chris's sister Laura Winkler came to the Disney Studio in Burbank I took them for lunch in the Coral Room (where Walt Disney dined). Afterwards I gave them a tour of the studio, back lot and buildings, concluding with a visit to the Disney Archives where curator Dave Smith (from whom I bought my first Mark Twain autograph) opened the file on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland in Anaheim and showed us 8 x 10's of Chris, Perva Lou, Walt Disney and Chris's father John Winkler during the dedication of Tom Sawyer Island on June 16th, 1956. The kids poured a gallon of Mississippi River water into the "Rivers of America" and added a quantity of soil from Jackson's Island on the Mississippi at Hannibal to the land on Tom Sawyer Island which on the opening day of Disneyland's new attraction.The History of Hannibal's Tom and Becky Program. See


Counter display insert 7 x 9 inches for Mark Twain Showboats (cigars) "4 for 50 cents." Likely from the 1930's.

This profile of the steamboat appears to have been influenced by the Sacramento River style with the curved front pilot house and enclosed sternwheel. The twin 'stacks were likely derived from the remodeling done by Hollywood in the 1930's for films like STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND and SWANEE RIVER.

Sam Clemens "Mark Twain" was famous for his devotion to cigars and he claimed to have begun smoking them when he was still a boy in Hannibal, MO.

Attached composite I made in 2010 with a caricature of the boy Sam Clemens smoking a huge cigar and towing a toy steamboat with a string behind him. Quotations from Clemens regarding his adventures with tobacco are included.


Lynd Ward depicts Sam Clemens' Hannibal of the 1840's

Attached detail from one of Lynd Ward's painted illustrations for a "juvenile biography" of Sam Clemens written by Ward's wife May McNeer. Ward depicted Sam and friends in Hannibal, Missouri on the Mississippi during the 1840's but he took a bit of liberty in the research in that while the steamboats are faithful to the period, the buildings in Hannibal were based on a photograph from LIFE magazine taken in Hannibal in the 20th century that didn't exist when Sam was a boy if you compare them with the location in the detailed 1854 map of the town.

America's Mark Twain by May McNeer
Illustrated by Lynd Ward (1905 - 1985) 159 pages Houghton Mifflin; 1st edition (January 1, 1962)

It is said that Lynd Ward decided to be an artist when, in the first grade, he realized that "draw" was "Ward" spelled backwards. He was born in Chicago in 1905. He studied art at Teachers College, Columbia University and graduated in 1926. He married May McNeer the week they graduated and immediately sailed for a year in Europe. Ward was an incredibly prolific artist who illustrated many books for children and among other biographies of famous Americans for young readers that he illustrated were the lives of Paul Revere, Ulysses S. Grant & Robert E. Lee; literary classics including Swiss Family Robinson and Johnny Tremain, and adult classics such as Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein.


This composite was made from a Budweiser ad of a boy fisherman wearing a straw hat who looked like Tom Sawyer but needed an additional shirt to wear over his striped T-shirt so I took a shirt from an illustrated Italian edition of TOM SAWYER. The sky is a detail from a photo taken over the Mississippi at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The lettering on the top is a detail from the TOM SAWYER ROOT BEER crate which my cats like to use as a bunk house. (We've got pictures of them somewhere in my wing of the museum).

recent acquisitions
Artist Elmer Jacobs painted the attached presentation artwork circa the 1950's to which a quote from Sam Clemens was added.

The face of Clemens that Jacob painted was not a flattering likeness so I replaced it with a graphic from the cover of a mini-biography published by Duke's cigarettes in 1887 when Sam still had the auburn hair of his youth before he aged into the white haired icon that the public remembers him as today.

Jacob's graphics of the "whitewashing" scene upper left, the "boy pirates" upper right, the boy fishing, the boys heading into the river to swim lower left and the jaunty stylized steamboat lower right are nostalgic evocations of Hannibal, Missouri (which Sam Clemens renamed "St. Petersburg" in his boyhood novels about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and their adventures on the Mississippi River.


An illustrated cover for TOM SAWYER from 1972

Spirited illustration for a 1972 Rainbow Classics edition of TOM SAWYER signed by what looks like "Irwin" in the lower left. I was able to saturate the color and rearrange the title portion which credited Louis Slobodkin who did the illustrations inside the book which were pen and ink, spontaneous and stylized in an almost childlike way that worked in a sort of fine arts way.

The cover style is in the style of commercial illustration with some interesting derivations such as the boys on the raft in the lower right who originated from John Gannam's 1949 painting of Tom and Huck for a John Hancock life insurance advertisement. The steamboat behind the boys is the MARK TWAIN at Disneyland. Tom and Becky lost in the cave lower left, Tom and Becky in the schoolyard lower center with schoolhouse reminiscent of one of Winslow Homer's paintings with the edition of a belfry on the roof. Upper left the graveyard scene with Injun Joe about to stab Doctor Robinson whose raising a headboard to clobber Muff Potter with as Tom And Huck watch in foreground. Center top Aunt Polly scolds Tom for stealing jam. Upper right the whitewashing episode with the second story of the boyhood home in Hannibal seen above the fence. Upper right Tom with some of the loot on the barrelhead that he took in exchange to allow his friends to whitewash the fence. Tom cradles the "kitten with only one eye" as described by Mr. Sam Clemens during Chapter 2 where initially Tom had lured Ben Rogers into taking a turn at whitewashing in exchange for Ben's apple and subsequently:

"By the time Ben was fagged out,Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with - and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar - but no dog - the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash."


A sample shelf in my library of TOM SAWYER & HUCK FINN editions

Attached for the HUCK 'N TOM pages a photo of one of many shelves in my library that are stocked with editions Domestic & Foreign of Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Various small collectibles are included in front of the books. My interest in Sam Clemens' immortal river town boys is comparable to my devotion to steamboats.


Tom Sawyer dancin'?

This Poetic TOM SAWYER cover art appears to have been achieved with both watercolor and pastels by Giuseppi Ornaghi who may have done this originally for the program cover of a TOM SAWYER ballet . . . The characters Tom Sawyer with brush, Ben Rogers with apple and Injun Joe with knife all appear to be dancing.

Aunt Polly wearing her glasses and apron stands with hands on hips. Polly's cat Peter stands in front of her. Bandit John Murrell's treasure in gold coins describe an arc behind Tom that he and Ben seem to be dancing over. Jackson's Island is represented by trees and reflecting water.

The dancing male characters don't appear to have feet, their ankles just taper off into points. Tom and the fragment of whitewashed fence seems to have been inspired by Norman Rockwell's 1930's painted illustration. This Italian edition is copyrighted 2003 by Giunti Gruppo Editoriale, Firenze.


RooneyHuckFinnOneSheet1939 Posters for movies of HUCK FINN - 1931 and 1939

1931 Poster for Paramount's version of HUCKLEBERRY FINN

Junior Durkin upper left as Huck
Jackie Searl center right as Sid
Jackie Coogan lower left as Tom
Mitzi Green lower right as Becky


Tom 'n Huck Russian Toma Soyera i Geklberri Finna (1982)

Four screen captures of the sternwheel steamboat used in a 1982 Russian television adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Priklyucheniya Soyera i Geklberri Finna
3 hours 45 minutes
Filmed in the Ukraine on the Dnieper River

Boys through the UK were auditioned for the dubbing of the film into English—but of the boys who were auditioned none of them could replicate an authentic sounding Southern accent - so two women with husky voices were used to dub the voices of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

Written and Directed by Stanislav Govorukhin


Fyodor Stukov . . . Tom Sawyer (as Fedya Stukov)
Vladislav Galkin . . . Huckleberry Finn (as Vladik Sukhachyov)
Mariya Mironova . . . Becky Thatcher (as Masha Mironova)
Rolan Bykov . . . Muff Potter
Yekaterina Vasilyeva . . . Aunt Polly
Talgat Nigmatulin . . . Injun Joe
Behailu Mengesha . . . Jim

Production companies
Odessa Film Studios
Television distribution
Art Technologies (2015) (Russia) (video)


Cover art Japanese edition of TOM SAWYER

Cover art for a Japanese edition of TOM SAWYER by Mr. S.L. Clemens, watercolor over line drawing of Tom and Huck. The dealer in Japan wasn't sure if there were illustrations by the same artist inside the book but they sent me this good sized file so I will share it with our fans out there in the land of dreams with Sam, Tom, Huck and Mississippi River steamboats.


1940 LOUISIANA Huck & Tom nostalgia Photo "Boys fishing in a bayou"

"Boys fishing in a Bayou Cane"

Photographer Marion Post Wolcott

Taken at Schriever, Louisiana, June 1940.

Reproduced from color slide.

Library of Congress

Prints and Photographs Division

Number LC-USF351-114

Schriever, Louisina is a census-designated place (CDP) in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The population was 5,880 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The place name was for railroad official John George Schriever (1844-1898), in connection with the 1870s opening of the rail line to Houma, Louisiana.

(From Wikipedia)





Pen and Ink Wash artwork based on adventures of Tom and Huck

Two original undated pen and ink with sepia wash paintings based on Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by an artist who signed the artwork with only their last name, WATTS.

The two attached files (which can go on the HUCK & TOM pages) came from a group of paintings based on Mark Twain's books that included LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI (the WATTS painting for that book we already have on one of our existing pages).

Watts also made artwork (all of them done on illustration board) based on The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, first published in 1865 and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (the latter book was illustrated by Dan Beard in 1889). I have not included scans of those pieces which aren't related to adventures on the Mississippi.

In each case the artist WATTS derived the imagery from the illustrations in the first editions of these books.

TOM SAWYER is based on True Williams' illustrations for the 1876 edition of Tom's adventures Far left stands Tom's sweetheart Becky Thatcher, next Tom's Aunt Polly, center Tom Sawyer based on the frontispiece of the first edition. Far right Tom rows a boat on the Mississippi while Huck sits at the stern with his back to us.

HUCK FINN is based on then 24 year old artist E.W. Kemble's illustration for the 1885 edition of Huck's adventures Far left Huck is seated on the raft as Jim stands with a pole while navigating down the Mississippi River. Center Huck smokes his pipe as while sitting under a tree. On the far right are 3 boys belonging to "Tom Sawyer's Gang" carry wooden lathe swords as part of their role playing for Tom's make-believe banditry.


TOM SAWYER straight from Budapest, Hungary

Cover and 1st page with cast of cartoon versions of Mark Twain's characters

in an undated Hungarian Comic Book adaptation of Mark Twain's TOM SAWYER

8 1/4 X 11 1/4 inches 23 pages in which more episodes from the novel are included

than are normally portrayed even in longer abridged version of Tom &Huck's adventures.

The cartoon style is reminiscent of drawings created by some of MAD magazine's artists


"Tom Sawyer détective" by Sam Clemens Steamboat by Christel Espié

Double page illustration of a steamboat at wharf from a 201 French edition of "Tom Sawyer détective" by Sam Clemens Edition Sarbacane, Paris

Illustrations by Christel Espié

Translated by Anne-Sylvie Homassel

Large format "storybook" style 10 1/2 X 15 inches X 1/2 inch thick, 92 pages

Tom et Huck sont appelés en Arkansas au secours de leur oncle, le pasteur Silas, persécuté par son voisin Brace Dunlap et son frère Jubiter.

Lors de leur descente du Mississipi en bateau à aube, ils croisent un étrange passager, qui n'est autre que le jumeau de Jubiter — lui-même poursuivi par deux complices auxquels il a dérobé une paire de diamants . . . Une double enquête commence pour nos héros inséparables : retrouver les diamants et élucider le meurtre de Jubiter, commis la nuit même de leur arrivée chez l'oncle Silas. Le temps presse car le malheureux pasteur s'est accusé du meurtre et comparaît bientôt devant le tribunal du pays . . .

- Nouvelle traduction, très réussie, d'une aventure aujourd'hui épuisée de Tom Sawyer (dernière traduction parue : 1902!)
- Plaisir de l'enquête et des jeux de déduction
- Une langue sonore et créative, savoureuse et drôle
- Des héros célèbres et attachants : le fidèle et affectionné Huck, plus lucide qu'il n'y paraît, et le fameux Tom Sawyer, généreux, prétentieux, intelligent . . . et comédien en diable
- Un super travail sur la lumière, inspiré de la peinture des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles

German Huck Finn title page steamboat landing Horst Lemke EXP

Charmin' double title page illustration by Horst Lemke for a 1964 German edition of Mark Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN.


Detail from the fly leaf color illustration of Fred Way's BETSY ANN painted in a combination watercolor and opaque technique by British artist John Worsley for a 1984 Exeter Books abridged addition of Mark Twain's TOM SAWYER. We have another illustration by Worsley of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn at a steamboat landing, along with the 1853 daguerreotype of the St. Louis levee that the artist used as reference.


Dobrodružství Marka Twaina meets Paul Detlefsen

Another "corner" pair of framed graphics upstairs here at home. The poster on the left is a Czechoslovakian language promotion for the 1944 Warner Bros. "biopic" THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN that's overall size with frame is 17 x 40 1/2 inches.

Years ago I had a high resolution scan and good sized enlargement made of calendar art by Paul Detlefsen of a steamboat he named the GARY WAYNE. The artist painted many "Down by the Old Mill Stream" Americana scenes themed nostalgic reveries that often included red barns or covered bridges. Overall size with frame is 32 x 35 1/4 inches.

Here is the online Czech language listing for the MARK TWAIN feature film:

Dobrodružství Marka Twaina
(The Adventures of Mark Twain)

Životopisný / Dobrodružný (Drama/Adventure)

Warner Brothers
130 min

Režie: Irving Rapper (Director)

Scénář: Alan Le May (Screenplay)

Kamera: Sol Polito, Edward Linden, James Leicester (Cinematography)

Hudba: Max Steiner (Music)

Hrají: (Actors)
Fredric March, Alexis Smith, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, C. Aubrey Smith, John Carradine, William Henry, Robert Barrat, Walter Hampden, Joyce Reynolds, Percy Kilbride, Nana Bryant, Joseph Crehan, Peter Lawford, Frank Reicher, Dennis Donnelly, Frank Darien, Creighton Hale, Lloyd Corrigan, Charles Irwin, Diana Barrymore, Brandon Hurst.

"Tento zholywoodizovaný príbeh pestrého Života Samuela Clemensa nie je vľkou biografiou, ale napriek tomu je zábavný, napriek niektorým klišé. Fredric March je výborný v hlavnej úlohe."


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.