JANUARY 10, 1940
WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday afternoon I spent a delightful hour with Miss Elizabeth Searcy in her studio on Dupont Circle. She has painted a great deal in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City and the South. It is evident in looking at her work that she has a great feeling for her home city, Memphis, Tennessee. There are five interiors of rooms which she painted at the Roosevelt House in New York City some years ago, and which seemed to me to belong together in some museum. They are beautifully executed and correct in detail and should, of course, be kept together, preferably where people who are not apt to visit and yet want to know the looks of the house where Theodore Roosevelt was born and spent the early years of his life.
Some of Miss Searcy's etchings are exquisite, but her water colors of gardens were to me the loveliest of all. I hope that she will have an opportunity while here to paint some of the beautiful gardens in and around this city.
The Jackson Day dinner, which we all attended last night, I need hardly tell you about, for you may have listened on the radio. If you did not, the newspapers have told you more than I could about this party function which each year collects the wherewithal to run the Democratic Party machine.
I am hoping that the women someday will have as well established a day as the men have. They made a beginning last year, but it was only a beginning. I feel sure that they can be as successful as the men if they begin their plans far enough ahead. Certainly the Democratic Party should be able to swing two national celebrations a year to raise money for national work, besides the days devoted to state, county and city organization. Getting together is important to us all.
Today, with my voice teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth von Hesse, I attended the Women's National Press Club luncheon. Mrs. von Hesse gave us all a delighful talk and a demonstration lesson on voice control. Everyone seemed to have a good time and I am sure all of us learned something.
Mrs. von Hesse stresses developing our ability to hear, which reminds me that I have been wanting to tell you for a long time about a musical project here in the District of Columbia, which I think well worthwhile. The National Committee for Music Appreciation is sponsoring the establishment in the public library of the District, of a free circulating library of symphonic records. The nucleus will be ten symphonies which a Washington newspaper recently distributed. Ten of these sets, covering the work of ten great composers, are being presented by the Committee to the library, so that thousands of people who cannot afford to attend concerts or public preformances, can hear this music in their homes.
I hope this may be followed by a similar project in many other cities, for the things which we hear constantly and which become familiar to us are the things which we love.