JANUARY 27, 1941
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday morning, in New York City, I certainly did as many things as one could well put into the hours of one morning.
Miss Esther Lape went with me to my first appointment at 10:00 o'clock at the Museum of Modern Art. There we began on the top floor and progressed downwards through the Indian exhibit. I think it is one of the most exciting and thrilling exhibitions I have been to in a long while. What beautiful work the Indians did, even in the days when stone tools were all they had. I am thrilled by the fact that their skill has not died out and that many of the things which they make today are easily adapted to our modern life.
Some woven Indian material makes a delightful cover for a modern chair, and an Indian drum makes a very convenient little table for use beside that chair. Much of the silver work is really beautiful and one of the best silversmiths was there himself to explain his art, which he is now teaching in one of the Indian schools. An Indian painter and some Indian weavers are also on hand ready to answer your questions.
Never before have I had the sense of centuries of development which lie back of the arts of our Indian people. This Indian exhibition should certainly stimulate production and bring us, as consumers, a realization of what we can do to keep the Indian arts and skills alive for future generations.
After leaving this exhibition, I met Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Andrews, who are concerned about the disposition of their wonderful Shaker collection. They have examples of all types of Shaker work and they have collected information on Shaker life and customs for many years. This collection should undoubtedly be preserved for the future because the Shaker colonies are rapidly dying out.
I went to the Hammond Organ Company to receive an organ which they are presenting to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. From there I proceeded to the Vanderbilt Hotel to see an exhibition of furniture made by the Arthurdale, West Virginia, furniture factory. I was much pleased with the work which they are now doing on a commercial basis.
At 1:00 o'clock, I attended the National Public Housing Conference luncheon and was much interested in Mr. Swope's speech on the accomplishments in New York City.
By 4:00 o'clock, Miss Lape and I were on the train for Philadelphia, Pa., where I spoke at the commencement exercises of the South Philadelphia High School for Girls. The class sang a part of "Plain Chant For America" by Mrs. Francis Biddle, and later part of the "Ballad For Americans." I enjoyed seeing this fine group of girls. After a call on Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Bok, I took a plane at 11:35 p.m. for Washington and was very glad to reach home. This is a quiet day of rest!