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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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better ones.

Q:

Did they have much space for this kind of display?

Lasker:

Not much but enough to show good things. There were many interesting letters. They have about 34,000 books I think that had either belonged to him or that represented the Roosevelt area. There were books on the Roosevelt era. another thing that interested me was that in the basement there was a kind of room which I could only call a chamber of horrors in which were masks of Roosevelt, silk sofa cushions with Roosevelt's face, all sorts of oddities that had been done or given to him during a campaign or sent by admirers who didn't have much taste. For instance, there were a pair of bookends made of giant turtle's paws about this big--twelve inches across-hideous beyond belief. But next to this were a serioes of carriages that had belonged in the Roosevelt family, including a pretty sleigh that had been given to them by a Russian and the main parts of a big iceboat that had been used on the Hudson by some of his family in the early days.

But on the whole the Roosevelts never had much visual taste. They had great humanity and intelligence and warmth but not great taste in visual things.



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