JANUARY 18, 1936
Mr. Paul Manship and Mr. Eric Gugler came to lunch today. Mr. Manship is doing a statue of the first Postmaster General, Mr. Osgood. There was a great deal of talk about the coming "World's Fair" in New York City, and the possibilities for doing something really beautiful. New York would seem to lend itself, with so much water, to some very interesting developments.
Mr. Gugler and I are trying to pick out some new chairs and a sofa for the Red Room. We have to please the Arts Commission and keep within the budget. We thought we were considering every angle of the problem when suddenly I was reminded after I had sat in a chair and decided it was fairly comfortable, that I must also be sure that it was strong enough so that no matter what treatment is received, it would not collapse under any important guest! Apparently this has happened once or twice with a priceless old chair, so I decided it would be wiser to have the chairs made, and not try to go in for antiques. This will make it easier to keep within the budget!
Two young friends of mine, Dorothy Ducas and Elizabeth Gordon came in to show me some work which they are doing to popularize home building and furnishing. They really are making such subjects as insulation, sound proofing and new types of heating, understandable and interesting to people like myself who are lost when anyone begins to talk in technical terms. I feel that they are doing a really valuable piece of work, not only to industry but to the women of the country who would like to know a great deal more than they do about building materials.
My second tea this afternoon was for the women in executive positions in the Departments of State, Treasury and War, and certain Commissions. Many of these women do really important work and are all indispensible parts of their offices. For instance, Miss Lindsey told me she had been in the Treasury for forty-one years. They are valuable public servants and it is most interesting to me and to the Cabinet women to have an opportunity to see them and talk to them about their work.