MAY 2, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday afternoon, in Boston, I saw the laboratory of the Federal Arts Project, where they test the paints used by artists. This is a unique project and meets a long felt need, for it has often been said we could not today reproduce color and quality such as the old masters attained.
From here, we went over to the WPA gallery, where there is an exhibition of works done for the American Book of Design. Naturally, in New England, one would expect many figureheads and weather vanes, but they also have some of the most beautiful reproductions of textiles. You can almost feel the texture and see the stitches.
Miss Lillian Schroedler called for us in her car and took us down to the old T-Wharf for tea. I was fascinated by the wharf, with its outlook over ships and the bay and the funny little old houses which are now apartments. Shabby on the outside, they are renovated very comfortably and attractively on the inside. If I ever have a free hour at noon or sunset, I shall run back to the little blue shop, climb the outside steps and eat a meal looking out on the water from the little low-ceilinged room.
We returned to the hotel with only 10 minutes to spare to dress before going over for a glimpse of Mrs. Haven Clark, early dinner and then my lecture for the Simmons College Alumnae Fund. Saturday morning, we breakfasted with my son James' friend, John Sargent, and his wife and daughter, in a charming house which they have just bought in the Chestnut Hill section. At 10:00 o'clock Mrs. Louis Howe came for us and we were off for Fall River by 10:15.
The WPA projects in Fall River are concentrated in one building, an abandoned mill. They have two excellent sewing rooms, a good toy making project and a braille book making project. I had a few words with the local NYA Administrator in his office and he told me of some of their NYA activities.
The lunch I attended was the closing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Family Welfare Association of Fall River. They had gathered together representatives from other organizations and some of the original workers and members of the board of their own organization. I could not help but think how the town's changed conditions and the work done by private organizations today, must seem to those who started the Family Welfare Association of Fall River 50 years ago.
After lunch, Mrs. Howe I drove around a little to see various things and then Mrs. Scheider and I made a 5:00 o'clock daylight saving time train in Providence.
The country all through New England is perfectly beautiful. I have never seen trees so completely covered with white blossoms, nor magnolias bloom in such profusion.
I am spending today in Hyde Park lazily doing nothing and will return to Washington on the midnight train.