JULY 3, 1956
HYDE PARK N. Y.—There is a publication just published called, "12 Americans," edited by Dorothy C. Miller, curator of collections at the New York Museum of Modern Art. It was published by the Museum and distributed by Simon and Schuster, at a cost of $3.50. It contains photographs of pictures and artists, with biographical information and some statements by the artists themselves.
The book is based on an exhibition of 12 Americans—modern artists, painters and sculptors—from different parts of the United States and all between the ages of 30 and 60. Strangely enough, though only two are native New Yorkers, all except one actually developed as an artist and found his particular media working in New York City.
This exhibition, which is now at the Museum, is different from most of those in which a large group of artists is represented by just one piece of work. Here, each artist has his own gallery, and the effort is made to bring together those of widely varying styles and to show the whole range of each artist's work.
These are modern artists who derive their inspiration largely from imagination rather than from nature. I do not feel that I am adequate in understanding this type of work, but Stuart Preston of the New York Times has commented that "individually they (the artists) are extremely able, both as 'inventors' and as manipulators of medium. Together, they extend the frontiers of art by offering new conventions in the place of those smashed along the retreat from realism that has been the outstanding event of 20th Century art."
The catalogue, edited by Dorothy C. Miller, was very interesting in helping me to understand these artists and their medium.
There is much concern over the meaning of the riots that just took place in Poland.
One suggestion was made that they might have been staged by the Soviet Union so that Soviet leaders could show how liberal they have become in granting more freedom to satellite countries, or so that they can use them as an excuse to clamp down tighter than ever before.
Either way, the conviction seems to be that they are not genuine uprisings of the people, but carefully prepared Soviet activity to be turned to the benefit of the Soviet in whichever way seems wisest.
Only time will tell us what all this means and whether any of the apparent change in attitude on the part of the Soviet Union is real or simply a political expedient of the moment.
It seems sad to me that Queen Juliana and her husband, Prince Bernhard, of the Netherlands have had to announce the appointment of a three-man commission to investigate publication of stories in the foreign press about "their family life and relations."
I am sure that when they say they have been disappointed and hurt they are speaking mildly of feelings of great resentment. In this country, we are accustomed to having some of the press circulate false rumors and to paying no attention to these stories. This has never been the custom in Europe, however.
So it must have been very difficult for anyone who has given so much hard work and time to the duties of being the Queen of Holland to find newspapers dealing with personal situations which are rarely considered in Europe as being the public's business.
The Queen is not only a sensitive and conscientious ruler, but she is a spiritually-minded woman, and she and Prince Bernhard have suffered greatly over their small daughter's vision. I hope that this investigating committee will bring to an end any further harmful publicity.