MARCH 18, 1949
NEW YORK, Thursday—On the 12th of April this year there will be published a book which I know my husband would have enjoyed tremendously. It is called "Franklin Roosevelt at Hyde Park" and it consists of 174 drawings with documented text. My husband's life is covered, but there are likenesses, too, which are unmistakable of his mother. It is not just a pictorial history of my husband. It is the story of a whole era that has passed. Few people in the future will live the kind of life depicted in this book but the record will be there, and I think it is well for us to remember that out of this kind of living came great democratic leaders.
My husband had a great affection for Olin Dows, the author, as well as for Olin Dows' mother. She was one of the people who loved "the river" as much as he did himself, and whose associations went far back into the lives of their forebears. He always took an interest in Olin Dows' painting and was delighted that Olin's murals decorate both the Hyde Park post office and the Rhinebeck post office. He particularly liked the fact that Olin had caught likenesses and that he could recognize people in these murals.
When Olin Dows went to the war and brought home a record in drawings of the European Theatre of Operations, my husband looked upon these as a valuable addition to history. He would tell the story with pride about a young painter whom he knew who accompanied the 35th Infantry Division on its landings in France and not only brought back a pictorial record but, armed with a notebook, a fountain pen, a camera and a carbine, brought in 56 prisoners single-handed!
The originals of the drawings in the book will be on exhibition in the MacBeth Galleries, here, starting April 11. I confess that I would like to see the whole collection of originals in the library at Hyde Park, but I suppose that is a rather selfish desire. Instead I should be hoping that the exhibition will be so successful that Olin will sell every one of his paintings at a price which will make him feel that the last two years of work have been a good investment.
On my return Wednesday I found several books which have given me much pleasure, among them one record called "Investment in People," which is the story of the Julius Rosenwald Fund. Julius Rosenwald, who died in 1932, had stipulated that the foundation which he established should complete its work in a generation. Therefore, the president of the fund, Edwin R. Embree, is able to tell a complete story. It is really a wonderful story of what has been done through one man's great interest in helping the underprivileged. The country as a whole and those of us who served on the board for brief periods of time owe a debt of gratitude to the generosity and vision of this man and his family.