The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

[Original version of the column. Text in red are tagged with <sic> (needs correction); text in purple are tagged with <orig> (needs regularization); and text in blue are tagged names of persons or organizations. View emended version]


NEW YORK CITY, Monday—For many years one of the things I look forward to before Christmas is the portfolio of Christmas cards sent me by the American Artists group. Nineteen years ago this group was founded and in the course of these years at Christmas time 5,834 different works by over 500 leading, living American artists have travelled, via the Christmas cards they get out each year, from the sacred precincts of the galleries and museums where the paintings are housed into millions of American homes.

With my collection of this year's Christmas cards they sent me a letter and I was so interested that I want to pass along certain paragraphs to you. It reads as follows:

"Of late, we often hear expressions of concern for the safety of American individualism in an age of impersonal industrial design and mass-production of many things once handicrafted and made to order. We understand this concern but do not fully share it. Our own Christmas cards are NOT mass-produced by the millions but published in small editions like fine books. No artist is ever called upon to alter coloring or detail to reduce printing or engraving costs, or to try to please 'everybody'.

"We believe that a basic American freedom is the freedom to exercise individuality of choice. That the people who buy artistic Christmas cards are still exercising this choice in the year 1953, is, we think, already evident. In a vote taken among the salespeople in the better stores throughout the nation to predict which of our hundreds of new Christmas cards their customers would like best, not a single answer received so far comes close to being right, according to our records of sales to date.

“When even the sales person who should know their tastes best cannot do the American peoples' choosing for them, that is a good sign! We plan to continue for another 19 years (and more) to encourage individualism in at least one field of popular aesthetic expression.”

I hope that all those who get these cards will enjoy them as much as I have over the past years.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 24, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

XML master last modified on: June 9, 2017.

HTML version generated and published on: May 3, 2022.

Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.