Columbia Library columns (v.34(1984Nov-1985May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.34,no.1(1984:Nov): Page 26  

Memories of Miss Moffat


. NE of the paintings Adelene Mofl^at exhibited at her one-
woman show at New York's Argent Galleries in 1942
represented a house in Shanghai and another depicted a
flower market in Flong Kong. In notes she made about the pictures
the octogenarian artist and world traveller said she had landed in
China "the da\' after the Revolution." When she reached Peking,
where her hotel room was on the same corridor as that of General
and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, she admired the young Chinese
officials and officers she saw in the lobby. Her train into the war-
torn city, one of the first to enter in three weeks, was packed with
people and heaps of amazingly varied luggage. Because she was
tall, her lap was less slanting than those of fellow passengers whose
feet barely reached the floor. "I held a (Chinese lady, who held on
her lap an eight-year-old girl, who held on hers a two-year-old
boy, who held on his a dog of uncertain age and temper." It was
characteristic behavior for a woman who tried hard to be true to
the motto she borrowed from George Eliot: It is career enough
to make life less diflicult for other people.

AA'hen my wife and 1 met her in the spring of 1949, she told us
proudly that in less than a month she would be eighty-seven years
old and then demonstrated her health and agility by bending her
erect body and placing her hands flat on the floor. I had sought her
out because of her long association with George W. Cable, the
subject 1 had chosen for my doctoral dissertation at Columbia. Her
collection of his letters and her memorabilia about the enterprises
on which they collaborated, which the Library acquired, gave im¬
portant assistance to my research. Now that 1 am reviewing my
Cable-Moffat collection and my own papers in the process of
adding them to the Library's resources, it seems advisable to re-

  v.34,no.1(1984:Nov): Page 26