FEBRUARY 17, 1938
ITHACA, N.Y., Wednesday—Yesterday I visited the American Artists School in New York City. This is an art school which pays its own way with unbelievably low fees paid by the students. There are some classes for children, but the majority of students are workers, who must work in order to obtain their art education.
I tried to discover how a school is run on what I calculated is a rather lean budget. The answer is that the instructors give their time. Two classes in life painting were working while I was there, but the school's biggest classes are at night and over the weekend. They teach painting, lithography, photography and sculpture. They did have a class in fresco painting, but that proved too expensive for their slender means.
I lectured yesterday afternoon under the auspices of the Affiliated School for Workers at Mrs. J. Caesar Guggenheimer's apartment. As I went up in the elevator, a little old lady spoke to me in a low, almost apologetic, voice. I bent over and finally succeded in hearing her say, "I would like to hear you speak, Mrs. Roosevelt, but I'm on a widow's pension and I can't afford a ticket. Do you think I could get in?"
I had no idea whether there would be room, or whether I had any right to try to get her in, but another lady with a very lovely voice overheard her and she said: "I'll find out what can be done."
When I got up to speak, the little old lady on the widow's pension was in the front row seat on my right.
I am getting horribly spoiled on my visits to New York. It never occured to me that having a brother in New York would mean having a car simply handed to me for the day, whenever I was there. Most of the family cars with chauffeurs are not as convenient as taxis. They are too big and move too slowly, but evidently Hall and I have the same ideas about getting around New York. He has a small inconspicious car which whisks in and out and turns fast as a taxi would, and his chauffeur is resourcefulness itself. After my lecture, I lost my gloves and since I was leaving for Cornell I had to have another pair.
While I paid a visit to a friend, the chauffeur scouted around and bought me a pair in a district where I was sure there were no shops which sold ladies gloves.
As I read the paper last night, it dawned on me that what we need in the world is manners. I feel the nations of the world would not be half so warlike if they would just preserve the principles of good manners in their attitudes toward each other. This impression may have been gathered from the way the headlines were written. I may be entirely wrong, but I think that if, instead of preaching brotherly love, we preached good manners, we might get a little further. It sounds less righteous and more practical.
I'm motoring about the Finger Lakes today and staying with Miss Flora Rose at Cornell University.