NOVEMBER 21, 1959
HYDE PARK—On Wednesday afternoon I dropped in for a few minutes at the Arthur Newton galleries in New York City to have a look at the flower paintings done by Frank Salisbury, who painted a portrait of my husband in Washington which Mr. Myron Taylor ordered for a New York City museum.
Mr. Salisbury, although British, has painted no less than five American Presidents from life. No other artist can equal this record, except perhaps the American painter, G.P.A. Healy, who lived from 1813 to 1894 and who is sometimes known as the painter of Presidents. Marie de Mare, Healy's granddaughter, wrote the story of his life and anyone reading about him will realize that though he was popular in this country he was also greatly admired in Europe. He painted many portraits of ruling families in France, England, Belgium, Italy and Roumania.
Mr. Salisbury, like Healy, is well known and popular in his own country and while one occasionally hears criticism of the fact that well-known people are painted by artists of a country other than their own, it is well to remember that there has been for a long time this exchange. It has made artists from this country popular in Europe, and European artists popular here.
Pierre Troubetskoy, a Russian artist, painted many portraits in this country, and both Whistler and Sargent, American artists, were almost more popular in Europe than they were at home. Some of the best paintings of Whistler and Sargent are either in galleries or in homes in Europe today.
Mr. Salisbury has done a number of copies himself of his own portrait of my husband, and one of these copies was chosen by President Truman to be the portrait of my husband to remain in the White House.
My husband had had a friend and a great American artist, Bay Emmet Rand, paint the portrait that he left in the White House, but President Truman preferred Mr. Salisbury's portrait, as do many other people, and with my consent the change was made. My youngest son then became the owner of the Bay Emmet Rand portrait as a gift from President Truman. At present this portrait hangs in the F.D.R. Library at Hyde Park, and it is one of the portraits that I like best.
The portrait of my mother-in-law by Pierre Troubetskoy and the portrait of my husband's father by a Dutch artist, Felix Moscheles, both hang in the old house at Hyde Park where my mother-in-law had placed them.
On Wednesday evening Dr. Ralph Bunche and I saw some more of the films competing for the Golden Award, given by Mr. David O. Selznick.
This concluded for me the number of films that have to be viewed, but I must say the variety is so great that I am going to find my decision extremely difficult to make. I must sit down with the rules that govern our judgements and a list of all the films, because our decisions have to be in before very long, and I feel very uncertain as to how I rate them because there is such a great variety.