OCTOBER 17, 1956
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—I had the great pleasure last week of going to the New York Public Library at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue and seeing the exhibition being held there this month which includes a collection on the theatre.
This is a valuable collection, with contributions from many people. My particular interest was in seeing the John Golden gifts, but I was also much interested in the many other things which George Freedley, the curator, showed me.
I think anyone with an interest in the theatre will find this exhibition fascinating. It certainly is valuable to schools and colleges and students of the drama.
I went to see a musical play, "Johnny Johnson," Thursday night at Carnegie Hall Playhouse. There is much that is tragic in the play, pleasing and appropriate.
My feeling was that it showed the hopelessness of war and the failure of human beings but gave us no solution and little insight into what we might struggle to change. It did, however, leave one with much to think about.
I also went and witnessed briefly an exhibition of contemporary British art at the E.A. Silberman Galleries, 1014 Madison Avenue.
Many of us are more familiar with some of the Continental modern artists, but I have never seen any of the modern English sculpture or painting. So I was much interested, though I confess that my knowledge of modern art is very slight and, therefore, my understanding of it is not great.
I think it was wonderful for Mr. Silberman and Miss Edna Perkel to bring this collection to the United States and I was very happy to meet again Sir John Rothenstein, director of the Tate Gallery in London. On the whole, I think I was more impressed by most of the sculpture than by the paintings, though I found some of the latter very interesting.
In spite of all my determination not to celebrate my birthday, I found everyone much too kind and thoughtful. My apartment was filled with flowers and many other lovely gifts.
Every event I attended that day, including the judging contest for dolls sponsored by Seventeen Magazine and the Save the Children Federation, as well as a staff meeting at the American Association for the United Nations, turned into something of a celebration for me.
All of this was very pleasant, but I still believe that when one has reached the age of 70 one should only celebrate every five years!
The doll contest was, as usual, a simply remarkable collection of dolls and I think this is a delightful way of making our young people think of less fortunate children in other lands. And it teaches them to use their imagination and to do beautiful handwork. Some of the dolls showed imagination, ingenuity and real skill in production.