FEBRUARY 3, 1944
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday morning I went to the Corcoran Art Gallery to see a special exhibition of paintings and drawings by official U.S. Navy combat artists under the auspices of the Navy.
These pictures cover the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic, and the North and South Pacific from the Aleutians to New Guinea.
Lieutenant-Commander Griffith Baily Coale, USNR, had some very interesting pictures all done in a rather gray monotone, creating the effect of cold, which fitted the subject well. Even when he moved into the more sunny areas of the Pacific, the colors seemed subdued, but the life and action made them vivid.
Lieutenant William F. Draper, USNR, had an interesting portrait of Admiral Halsey and some Alaska pictures which interested me very much. The best portraits, I think, were done by Lieutenant Albert K. Murray, USNR, although Lieutenant Dwight C. Shepler, USNR, had a portrait of General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, which was an excellent likeness, and his "Action on the River," done on Guadalcanal, shows the fighting terrain in a very effective manner.
There was one painting which will linger in my mind for a long time. It was a painting by Lieutenant (J.G.) Mitchell Jamieson, USNR, of a group of men just ready to land in an LST boat. The edges of their helmets gave practically the only light in the picture, and the one face visible had the grim and determined look which the backs of the other men seemed to express.
Lieutenant Jamieson is a District of Columbia painter whose work we have all known for some time. I think he has gained strength as a painter during his experience at sea.
I also stopped in at the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Interior to see a portrait of Dr. Carver by Miss Betsy Reyneau. It was done only a month before Dr. Carver's death and it is a delightful portrait. She has also painted one of Mrs. Mary Bethune, which is extremely good.
Yesterday we had the second tea for the remaining members of the White House office staff. Some of them had never had an opportunity to go through certain rooms in the White House before, as the large entertainments to which they were formerly invited are no longer given.
In the evening I attended the concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra in Constitution Hall. The first part of the concert was not such familiar music to me, but Monsieur Zino Francescatti, the violin soloist, played magnificently. This orchestra, under Mr. Eugene Ormandy's conducting, is stirring to hear. I was very much interested in Mr. Robert Russell Bennett's symphony of "The Four Freedoms," and enjoyed Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe" just as I always do.