FEBRUARY 3, 1948
HYDE PARK, Monday—Few people would associate a labor union with an art exhibition, but in 1944 the dressmakers' union local No. 22 raised $4,157.50 for the New York War Fund by their benefit art exhibition, and this year they are going to have a similar art show for the benefit of the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund.
The International Ladies Garment Workers Union has an enviable record for the welfare and artistic projects which they have undertaken and carried through. We certainly hope that the cause which is to benefit from this exhibition will help to attract those who might otherwise think that only in museums and art galleries can interesting paintings be found. These exhibitors are workers and yet they produce creditable works of art.
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Art in any form is a valuable medium which does bring home to people many things which we might not otherwise understand. I thought of this as I looked at the cover of a Sunday newspaper's magazine section. It was a photograph of a Hungarian peasant woman's drawn face and, beside her, the sad, upturned face of a child. The eyes do not look as though they ever smiled.
This picture was a fitting prelude to an article by Chester Bowles, chairman of the International Advisory Committee for the United Nations Appeal for Children.
The article is a report on Europe's children, and was written at this time because the United Nations Appeal this month is making a worldwide drive for funds.
Many nations that will have to be recipients are nevertheless offering to give whatever they have which is surplus. For instance, Poland and Yugoslavia, which lack many things that they must look to the Children's Emergency Fund to supply, have offered some sugar and some cotton—a token that all nations wish to do whatever they possibly can for the welfare of their children.
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This article by Chester Bowles, who has just completed a tour of Europe, would indicate that he has been shocked by the realization that the needs of children in devastated countries are not clearly understood in our own country. But he knows, as most of us know, that if any of the people in the United States could for one minute find themselves living in a devastated town, there would be no question about the flow of the necessary things to feed and clothe the neighbor's child.
I personally wish that our country could give to the United Nations Appeal for Children in the same way that we gave to UNRRA. Of course, private individuals and organizations can contribute, but this will not take the place of contributions which governments can make.
And I feel that children should be helped without any discrimination because of their race or religion or the political beliefs of their parents. These are the children who will live with our children in the world of the future—if they do not starve to death in the meantime. If they even come near starving, it will warp their minds and their hearts and they will not be good neighbors to our children in the years to come.