NOVEMBER 29, 1944
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon, on the mezzanine of the Statler Hotel, I had the pleasure of seeing the exhibition of photographs taken by the White House photographers during the past year. Many more were sent in, of course, than were put up, and those from overseas, while they make the most interesting section, form a really very small group. Among them, however, I saw several that I have already seen in various papers and magazines, and all of them tell never-to-be-forgotten tales about our men overseas.
The sports group is arranged together, and I think I have rarely seen so many good sports pictures. Among the others, of course, the photographs of children appealed to me. The little boy looking over the side of his crib may have had a soulful expression only because of his temperature, which, his father assured me, that day stood at 104. Nevertheless I would like to meet that youngster, for I am sure he is an interesting child. The photograph called "Solitude," which portrays the same child standing in the waves on a limitless beach with no other human being in sight, is well named. There were also a number of excellent action shots of animals.
It is natural, I suppose, that there should be a good many pictures of my husband, since these are the White House photographers. But there were also some very good photographs of Henry Kaiser and Secretary Ickes. I never like myself in photographs, but I imagine most of those taken of me are very good, too.
It was amusing to see the prize winners squirm under the demands of the still photographers and the newsreels. Photographers are not accustomed to being their own victims, and I think it is probably very good for them.
The exhibition will be open until the end of this week, and I think that everyone who has the opportunity will want to see it.
Yesterday afternoon I was given a most wonderful present. Mrs. Grace Kiess Swiggett, who was an art teacher in Seattle, Wash., brought me some white wool material, woven in the Greek fashion. She learned this type of weaving from Isadora Duncan's brother, who married a very charming Greek woman. The difference between this and the average handwoven material is that, ordinarily, threads of the same weight are used for both warp and woof, whereas in this Greek material, one thread is much heavier, which makes the material fall into graceful folds. I love hand work of all kinds, and I can hardly ever pass any pottery made by hand without wanting to possess it. The same is true of glass, jewelry and materials, and so I was particularly grateful and appreciative of this very unique gift.