Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

and asked me if I would be on the White House Fine Arts Committee. I'm very fond of Mrs. Wrightsman and I realized that it would be very complicated to do this, because ifyou solicited individual pieces from people, they'd be sure to be pieces that didn't fit even though they might be very valuable. I realized that what it would and up in would be largely the giving of money, and naturally this wasn't an area that I was terribly anxious to give money in, as I had plenty of other ways in which to use money.

That first idea was to appeal for contributions, to appeal to people who might have fine things of the period or historical things that were associated with the White House. Well this calmed down after a while, because they realized that they'd get a lot of things that were unusable, and this disappointed donors, which was very sad. However, they did get some useful things. But nobody gave any money.

Now, around the 8th of May, Mrs. Wrightsman had arranged for Mrs. Kennedy, Florence and me to go to Winterthor, which is the home of Harry duPont. He's the leading collector of American furniture and objects of the 17th and 18th Centuries and had a marvelous museumin Winterthor in Delaware. We were going to pay them a visit and spend the day with them. Well, I arrived the evening before to go on this trip at about 10 in the morning in the Caroline, when Mrs. Wrightsman called me up and said, “Well, we can't go as early as we decided. Shepherd is going to be feceived at the White House, the first Astronaut. Come over to the White House at 10 o'clock, and we can be part of the

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help