JANUARY 30, 1936
Does it ever strike you how really egotistical we all are? We always take for granted that whoever is with us must of necessity be deeply engrossed in whatever subject may be engrossing us! I catch myself often forgotting to ask my guests what they would like to do or see, and taking for granted that they will be interested in anything that happens to interest me.
I saw the finished murals in the Post Office Building by Reginald Marsh this afternoon and I think them wholly satisfying. Mr. Olin Dows, who is in charge, remarked that the post office people themselves liked them because they were so true to life that the ships were the right kind of ships, and the work was really done in the way it was depicted. I liked the one best which gives a little glimpse of the New York City sky line in the distance, but Mrs. Morgenthau, who is a better critic than I am, preferred the other one. It is permitted now to spend one percent of the appropriation for any federal public building on murals and sculpture and one percent on landscaping. We went over to the Justice Building and saw Mr. Biddle working on his mural there. He seemed quite oblivious of the number of people who were watching and I decided that the scaffolding gave him a sense of privacy. His mural is not finished but the two little scenes at the top are very nice. I think it is going to make a very interesting record for the future, anyone coming here will be able to see the best in American art of this day on the walls of their public buildings. Through the Art Projects a great many paintings are also coming in which will be sent out to our Embassies and Consulates and to hospitals and even prisons. All of which will constitute another contribution from this period of depression.
Returned to the White House to have a talk with Miss Thelma Cazalet, (from England) a member of Parliament from one of the poorest districts in London and then to receive about four hundred and fifty people at tea.