Twain loved music and played piano and guitar. In fact his surviving daughter, Clara, studied music and was quite a performer.
|Mark Twain's Martin Guitar|
these guitars back in 1833. The 2 ½-17 was a relatively normal size for guitars during this period in history. Nearly 100 years would pass before Martin would create its dreadnaught sized guitar.
He wrote for newspapers in California and what was then known as the Nevada Territories.
He once commented that he preferred playing guitar for, “the willing women of the west.”
Twain traveled to Hawaii and later to Europe and the Middle East. He sailed aboard a steamer that took him from San Francisco to New York City. Twain wrote back extensive serial reports of his journeys for the newspapers for which he worked. These stories became the basis for many of his books. You can be certain this guitar traveled with him.
|Mark Twain's guitar at MoMI exhibit|
Risan was one of the people that worked with UC Berkeley to authenticate the guitar and he helped create The Mark Twain Project, which gave us the three volume set of the Mark Twain Diaries.
Risan went on to establish The Private Life of Mark Twain exhibit at the Museum of Modern Instruments, MoMI. This is where the guitar and poem currently reside.