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Mildred Barnes Bliss to Royall Tyler, February 14, 1931

The American Embassy
Buenos Aires
14th February, 1931Saturday.

[in pencil: With 2 enclosures within: 1) from the Crown Prince of SwedenGustaf VI Adolf (Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf) (1882–1973), crown prince of Sweden until 1950, when he became king. A copy of the letter, dated 1930, is preserved with the Bliss-Tyler correspondence for October–December 1930, Bliss Papers, HUGFP 76.8, box 38. 2) M.B.’s ‘Epigrammatic History’]The present whereabouts of this enclosure is not known.

Dearest Royall,

Very stupidly I have been waiting to write you the letter I have so long wanted to, instead of promptly sending off the cheque Robert told me to. You must be wondering at our delay, but knowing us will be neither worried nor harsh. Here it is at last, and here also is a letter; for once in a way I have no appointment to keep this afternoon, and am writing this in the garden with the sun making lovely colours in the ‘arrosoir’,“Watering can.” and the jasmine scenting the air. It is really quite pleasant. Would that you were not so far away. In fact I really do not see what we are going to do if we have to pass another twelve months without a meeting. When Robert started off for his fortnight’s holiday in Patagonia, where he is now astride a hardy pony absorbing mountain air, forgetting the existence of the Embassy I hope, he charged me to tell you that he had no opinion of HambroEither Sir Charles Eric Hambro (1872–1947), a British politician and chairman of Hambros Bank, or Ronald Olaf Hambro (1885–1961), the managing director of Hambros Bank since 1921. whatever since the Bank had decided not to send you out.See letter of December 6, 1930. As for me—well Royall dear, you do not know how much I miss you, but you can flatter yourself by thinking you do, and even that will make you very warm and happy!

There is so much to talk to you about that I hope you are feeling strong, and are comfortably seated. At least I am merciful in dictating this, for never would you be able to read it in longhand.

In the first place, you have been the angel that only you can be in writing, and we both fairly batten on your letters. Out of them all we get a fairly comprehensive picture, and we know just how much we owe you and how much we are missing by being so far afield. International affairs are as nothing to the importance of Bill, and the news of his clean bill of health makes us happy indeed. How very wise you have been with that boy. It seems to me I have never known a better bit of planning. His ill-luck is going to prove his best fortune, for I am sure, had he gone up to the University as originally planned, he would never have mastered the Austrian tongue, nor have been able to play a little ditty on the piano, nor have bought his first primitive, nor be learning Spanish as he is now doing, not to mention all the by-products in the way of character. The worst has certainly been borne by you and Elisina, and Bill may yet live to bless the Harrovian Doctor!See letters of August 11, 1929, and August 13, 1929. We always said the world was topsy turvy, didn’t we?

What is the delightful De Lorey doing in New York. Suddenly we received a cable saying he was at the Gotham, and asking where we were and when we might meet. If only we might! I liked that nice little man very much indeed, and should be glad to have him for a friend.

Before getting down to real talk I will tell you about the enclosures, of which there seem to be so many.

1. The photographs of the charming de Brézé tapestries,Probably from the “Voyage to Calicut” tapestry series. After Vasco da Gama’s voyage around the Cape of Good Hope to Calicut in India, King Manuel of Portugal ordered a series of twenty-six tapestries to commemorate the event from the Tournai tapestry-maker Gilles le Castre. The series was completed in 1504, and due to its popularity, many related pieces were made. See letter of October 4, 1930. which should have been returned long since, were most delectable as to subject, but the repairs were bad, the colours were none too good, and they would only have been for us could we have had many others as well! Just as many thanks for telling us of them.

2. Robert received a delightful letterA copy of the letter, dated 1930, is preserved with the Bliss-Tyler correspondence for October-December 1930, Tyler Papers, HUGFP 76.8, box 38. from the Crown PrinceCrown Prince Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf (1882–1973) later reigned as Gustaf VI Adolf, king of Sweden, from 1950 until his death. He was a devoted archaeologist and participated in archaeological expeditions in China, Greece, and Italy, and founded the Swedish Institute in Rome. the other day, and he asked me to send you a copy, as well as the photograph of the textile,The Crown Prince of Sweden wrote Robert Woods Bliss about an ancient and “most remarkable piece of woven and embroidered fabric” that he had seen for sale in Cairo. Although he found the asking price “absurd,” he sent them a photograph of the textile and wrote: “I just thought that it might interest you to see the photo and that you might possibly think of acquiring it, as I know how you and Mrs. Bliss enjoy these fine and at the same time out of the way pieces.” Tyler Papers, HUGFP 38.6, box 2 (housed with Tyler correspondence from October–December 1930). which I see from the illustrated reviews is at the Persian Exhibition.International Exhibition of Persian Art, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, January 7–February 28, 1931.

So by now you must know it and we shall be curious to have your views. Somehow it does not altogether stir me, but then, the photograph may do it an injustice. The drawing of the horse is full of style, but feminine style, and seems to have the accent of a daring artist, clever for his day, but not the strength and character that lasts for all time.

The Crown Prince seems so happy over the Cyprus findsThe Crown Prince of Sweden was the patron of a Swedish archaeological expedition in Cyprus between 1928 and 1931. See Einar Gjerstad, “Summary of Swedish Excavations in Cyprus,” Syria 12, no. 1 (1931): 58–66. that it is pleasant to read. It really is quite remarkable what H.R.H. has done for Sweden; such good, thorough, sensible work, that is gradually developing and expanding the culture of the whole country. But; what is a rython [sic]?A rhyton is an often horn-shaped vessel for drinking liquids or pouring them out as a libation. Rhytons were very common in ancient Persia. Nobody here seems able to tell us, and our ignorance is great—I suppose a ritualistic object? and who is Viette [sic]?Gaston Wiet (1887–1971), a French scholar of Middle Eastern languages and history, was a professor at the University of Cairo. We do not seem to know about him.

3. I thought it might amuse you to look at the prospectus of a local review engineered by Victoria Campo [sic],Victoria Ocampo Aguirre (1890–1979), an Argentine intellectual, writer, critic, and publisher of the magazine Sur. to whom I gave a letter for you when she went to Paris last year. She is ‘La Femme’ here, a handsome, normal creature, belonging to one of the most influential tribes, who had the courage to be a free-lance, and, because of the tribal background, succeeded. She has written a certain amount, and recites really quite beautifully because of her simplicity and good voice, which is never hot nor does she ever strain it.

4. Do you know anything about Kramstyck’sRoman Kramsztyk (1885–1942), a Polish painter of Jewish origin who died in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. He lived and worked in Paris from 1922 and was a member of the New Classicist movement of the 1920s and 1930s. work? In an illustrated article of an exhibition in America, this was the only picture which seemed to me to have the slightest life or personality.

And now to tell you all about it. It is long ago since I wrote you a proper letter, and at the risk of repetition I will run through the last few months, so that you may the better understand my delinquency as a correspondent.

First, the RevolutionThe September 6, 1930, Argentine coup d'état, often known as the September Revolution by its supporters, involved the overthrow of the Argentine government of Hipólito Yrigoyen by forces loyal to General José Félix Uriburu. coming so soon after our return required a concentrated effort to disentangle its various currents. The provisional government has now been in office five and a half months, and the country is rid of graft, back-sheesh,“Bribes.” and bureaucratic inertia. But honesty alone is not enough to cope with the contemporary situation, and here the problems are extremely difficult. The provincial elections are announced for the middle of April or early May, and if they take place according to programme they will begin with the ‘surest’ province, and then ‘à fur et à mesure’“Successively.” that the successful results are known they will go through the lot, leaving the two unfavourable provinces to the last, thus hoping to decrease the conservative defeat. But what is going to happen to the deputies who are first elected, until months later the whole country has chosen its representatives? What will be their status with a Parliament that has not been completed or called into session? and should the political colours chosen be as heterogeneous as one fears, what decision is it likely to make in regard to the electing of a President? and will this temporary President be able to get his programme voted, or will Parliament stall him at every turn?

There are two interpretations of what is known as the Acephalic Law—one being that the new Parliament will have to name the Vice President as First Magistrate, or in lieu the President of the Senate, and so on down the line to the President of the Supreme Court. The other view is that the new Parliament may name whoever it likes, and disregard the five offices mentioned in the law. At any rate it seems fairly certain that UriburuJosé Félix Uriburu (1868–1932), the first de facto president of Argentina between September 6, 1930, and February 20, 1932. will hand in his resignation directly Congress is convened, and beyond that point we do not know what will occur.

There is considerable discontent, both economic and social, and I find that these honest gentlemen, impelled only by the most patriotic motives, have an horizon limited by their class, which prevents them from distinguishing between the Radicals, personalist Radicals, Communists, Anarchists and Bolshevists, not to mention any Obrero“Laborer.” who commits a misdemeanour of any sort. Consequently they beat them up together, converting the harmless dolt into a sworn disciple of the agitator.

I believe firmly in the material future of this country, but it is going to be produced by foreign initiative. Just as the British have built the railroads in the past, so the factories will be established, by others (Americans). They will doubtless have a lean time for a few years, until the world market stabilises itself, but as they can feed themselves, and are under-populated, and as the demand is considerable and the opportunity unlimited at present, it is a good investment field for anybody who has enough capital to swing himself through the first years.

We have the most interesting source of information regarding the Communists, and are quite well informed of what goes on here, as well as in certain European countries; and whereas I do not think there will be a seriously subversive communist movement in the Argentine, there is quite enough subterranean activity for the authorities to be called upon periodically to pass bad half hours.

We moved into this Embassy,In 1929, upon the recommendation of Robert Woods Bliss, the United States government acquired the Palacio Bosch on Alvéar Avenue (today Avenida del Libertador) in Buenos Aires as the U.S. embassy and ambassador’s residence. more dead than alive, on the 16th November, and within forty-eight hours began serving the traditional ‘côtelette de mouton’,“Lamb chop.” which was consumed to the tune of some 2,500 within the following six weeks. The interminable lists and the harassing changes incidental to the Presidential dinner and ball made me almost take to a convent. Every pebble in the garden was overhauled in the search for bombs, and all the streets were surrounded by secret service men, and we felt the eyes of the detectives peering from every shadow of a bush.

We led off with the American colony, of course, which takes a proprietary pride in its Government-owned Embassy, and is making it a present of a Stuart Washington,Gilbert Charles Stuart (1755–1828) was an American painter who painted President George Washington several times and of these paintings many copies are known. which, is gratifying to Robert. Then we had the Querpo [sic],Probably the diplomatic corps. and lastly the Government, and have tried to cover all the ground for 1930, so as to start this season with a clean slate.

I really feel it must be my swan song. I do not think I can go on doing this much longer. It is a real waste of life and mind, and if one cannot enjoy one’s thoughts what is the point of existing anyway?

Our hats off to you and the successful issue of your struggles to hold the Byzantine show. Although the road must be full of stones, I imagine you will smooth it by compromising with the Bibliothèque Nationale. I agree with you the MSs would be more congenially shown there than at the Arts Décoratifs.See letter of December 13, 1930. It is good of Metman to loan his Museum for four months. How long do you suppose the show will remain open? I plot and plan to see if there is any conceivable way for one of us at least to see it, but I am afraid resignation must be our lot. The canny Duveen! I wonder what he will foist upon you. Still, one cannot look a gift dealer in the pocket so to speak, and he, David Weill and Argyropoulous [sic]Alexander G. Argyropoulos (1883–1962), a Greek philatelic expert and dealer who served as Greek minister of foreign affairs and as director of the economic and commercial division of the Greek ministry of foreign affairs. He is listed in the Byzantine exhibition’s “Comité d’Honneur.” See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 7. have played up nicely.

When you know what little objects of ours you want for the Byzantine show, send us the list. Our only pastime is talking about these objects together, and whipping ourselves into a white heat of martyred enthusiasm.

Perhaps some day you can get hold of a photograph of the ivory CrucifixionAdolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934), 2:80–81, fig. 228. in the Suermondt Museum,Suermondt Ludwig Museum, Aachen. which you say is like ours. Is Liège going to lend you its textiles?

Mademoiselle MalyeThérèse Malye (1886–1951), Mildred Barnes Bliss’s Parisian secretary. has told us of a lot of early Serbian things found by General Gourko,Général Dimitri de Gourko (1872–1945), a Parisian dealer. who, by the way, you might enjoy talking to, as he has lived in East Russia, and has known a good many of the ‘dessous’“Bottom.” for years. He seems to have a good nose, and certainly does scent a track well. I have told Malye to show you the photographs and put you in touch with Gourko. I do not feel the things are for us, but they may have more artistic merit than one can judge by the pictures, but ugly or not I should think they had some interest as documents.

All you wrote of the pre-Scythian bronzes in your October 31st letter found us in full sympathy, so if you can get a few—not many, but a few—really A.1 examples cheap, do so. If I am anything of a prophet France will have ‘très à gauche’“Leftist.” Government in a few years, and during that time those of us who have any money left in the Bank will be able to get this class of thing at fair prices. It was outrageous the way they ran them up last year.

Mind you keep track of the Gualino collection.The Riccardo Gualino Collection, now mostly in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin, and the Bank of Italy, Palazzo Koch, Rome. Riccardo Gualino (1879–1964) was a businessman, art collector, and philanthropist. See Lionello Venturi, ed., La collezione Gualino (Turin: Bestetti and Tumminelli, 1926). I take you absolutely on trust regarding the Stroganoff 10th century ivory,Diptych leaf with Christ and a bust of Saint Peter. The ivory was published in the Stroganoff collection by Ludwig Pollak and Antonio Muñoz, Pièces de choix de la collection du Comte Grégoire Stroganoff à Rome, vol. 2, Moyen Âge—Renaissance—Époque modern (Rome: Impr. de l’Unione editrice, 1912), pl. CXVIII, 2. It was published in the Gualino Collection by Lionello Venturi, Alcune opera della collezione Gualino esposte nella R. Pinacoteca di Torino (Milan and Rome: Bestetti and Tumminelli, 1928), pl. 52. Royall Tyler exhibited this ivory in the Byzantine exhibition of 1931. See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 76, no. 98. See also letters of March 27, 1929, and October 31, 1930. and only hope that it and other temptations, such as the potential sale, will not occur simultaneously. Sultanabad was a most welcome surprise. I am really glad that we shall be able to look at that to our hearts’ content, for it is a most lovely thing. We were in a twitter of excitement when your cable came saying ‘85BZ.1930.11. See Collection Jacques Doucet: Céramiques d’Extrême-Orient, bronzes, sculptures, peintures chinoises et japonaises, laques du Japon, faïences de la Perse, de la Transcaspie et de la Mésopotamie, miniatures persanes, vente du vendredi 28 novembre 1930 (Paris: Impr. Lahure, 1930), 27, no. 85, pl. 23. acquis’See telegram of November 28, 1930. & not dear, either.

Robert has bemoaned that the ‘Petit Prince’The object referred to with the allusion “petit prince” has not been identified. is not his, but exquisite as it was I felt I could live without it, and my next fall must be for a picture. I want a beautiful primitive,In the earlier twentieth century, the term “primitive” referred to art of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and usually of the Italian and Flemish schools. and I mean to have one someday. Is it true that the Soviets are selling the Van Eycks?A syndicate formed by Andrew Mellon purchased Jan van Eyck’s The Annunciation from the State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, for $502,899 in June 1930. Mellon gave the painting to the United States government in 1937, and it is now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., acc. no. 1937.1.39. See also letter of October 21, 1930. and have they kept their promise of contributing to the Persian show? I should think that Gourko might run something interesting up a tree, if you and he put your heads together. It was cruel of you to tell us about the Indjoudjian little byzantine enamel roundel,This enamel has not been identified. See also letters of October 25, 1930, and May 7, 1931. only to end your account with the word ‘sold’, for it sounded like an answer to my prayer these last five years. Has ‘Feu Ardent’Feuardant. Mildred Barnes Bliss is making a play on the words “feu ardant,” “fervent fire.” still got the engraved sapphireThe Blisses would acquire this sapphire cameo in January 1936. See also letters of October 25, 1930, and March 14, 1931. and is he not going to come down a bit? It would be interesting to know what D’AguerreHenri Daguerre. sold the GuarrazarThe Treasure of Guarrazar, a trove of Visigothic gold pieces discovered between 1838 and 1861 near Toledo, Spain. Much of the treasure was later stolen. eaglesPair of Eagle Fibulas, Visigothic, sixth century, gold over bronze with gemstones, glass, and meerschaum, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, acc. nos. 54.421 and 54.422. The fibulas were acquired by Henry Walters from Henri Daguerre in 1930. and earringsEarrings with a Bust of the Virgin and a Bust of Christ Pantokrator, Byzantine, tenth century, cloisonné enamel on gold, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, acc. nos. 44.300 and 44.301. The earrings were acquired by Henry Walters from Henri Daguerre in 1926. for.See letter of October 25, 1930. That really was a terrible temptation, the resisting of which was somewhat simplified by the fact that it was so entirely out of reach! Mr. Walters seems to buy first-rate things, if he goes in for this and the St. Ursula silkThis silk has not been identified. But a ninth-century silk, used to wrap the relics of Saint Hippolytus and having rows of griffins attacking bulls remains in the treasury of the church of Saint Ursula, Cologne. See Stephen Wagner, “The Impact of Silk on Ottonian and Salian Manuscripts,” Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings (2002). See also the letter of October 25, 1930. at one time.Henry Walters did not acquire this silk from Daguerre.

As for the Carolingian stone doorwayThis doorway has not been identified. See also letter of October 31, 1930. I long to see it. Cannot you send photographs, and could you give me some idea of its price, because it might be that it would interest Mrs. Harkness.Mrs. Edward Stephen (Mary Stillman) Harkness (1874–1950), an American philanthropist. The Harknesses owned a mansion called Eolia on Long Island Sound in Waterford, Connecticut, which had 230 acres of gardens and grounds. Although, as you say, it should certainly stay in France and be acquired by the Louvre, if France is going to lose it in any case, it might as well go to an appreciative foreigner. If you can, send me further information and photographs about this and the Chrisoveloni’s [sic]Zanni (Jean) Chrissoveloni (1881–1926), a Romanian banker. romanesque cloister.The thirteenth-century cloister from the Abbey of Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines in the Roussillon region of southwestern France. The cloister had been decommissioned after the French Revolution and eventually was sold to the Parisian antiquities dealer Paul Gouvert. He had replications of architectural elements fabricated and sold parts of the cloister between 1924 and 1928 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and to Zanni (Jean) Chrissoveloni (1881–1926), a Romanian banker, who installed them at the Castle Mésnuls. See letter of January 6, 1931 [2]. Perhaps there may be a way to move the Philadelphia Museum to scrap its reproductionCloister with Elements from the Abbey of Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines, Philadelphia Museum of Art, acc. no. 1928-57-1b. The cloister of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines had been decommissioned after the French Revolution and eventually was sold to the Parisian antiquities dealer Paul Gouvert. He had replications of architectural elements fabricated and sold parts of the cloister between 1924 and 1928 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and to Chrissoveloni, who installed them at the Castle Mésnuls. See also letters of January 6, 1931 [2]; February 3, 1931; and March 17, 1931. and put the two original halves together again. Whenever I hear of this sort of thing, I long to be able to put the dismembered object together, and send it back to its birth place. Without mentioning names I will discreetly see what can be done about both fragments, as I have two potential purchasers in mind. Do you think Italy will loan the San Marco and the Monza treasure to your Exhibition, and when, Oh when, are we to have illustrated catalogues? If you love me please send the PersianPersian Art: An Illustrated Souvenir of the Exhibition of Persian Art at Burlington House, London, 1931 (London: Hudson and Kearns, 1931), and the Byzantine cataloguesExposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931). as soon as you can get your hands on them (any news of the Andrassy catalogue?);Count Gyula Andrássy de Csíkszentkirály et Krasznahorka the Younger (1860–1929), a Hungarian politician who had inherited his family’s art collection. See A tiszadobi és tőketerebesi gróf Andrássy kastélyok műtárgyai (Kunstwerke aus den Schlössern Tiszadob und Tőketerebes des Grafen Andrássy) (Berlin, 1930). they will be like manna in the wilderness. Incidentally, let me know when you want the promised contribution to the Byzantine show which we promised but which I do not remember to have sent. Many thanks for the receipt of the Strigel. Your description makes the little lady seem even more delightful than we had thought her, and we look forward greatly to making her acquaintance.

You threw us into a flutter of excitement over the Persepolis relief. It was a crazy thing to do to take you up so promptly, but it hit Robert in the pit of the stomach luckily, for I saw the photograph first and it had done for me exactly the same. So when your answering cable came we were profoundly pleased, and long to touch the dark grey marble, whose patina you describe in a way that makes me thirsty. Why did Stora refuse to loan it to the Exhibition,International Exhibition of Persian Art, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, January 7–February 28, 1931. and how does it compare with the Achaemenid objects there. The Asia-Minor rugProbably the Albert Figdor rug now in the Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna. See Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre and Hermann Renkwald, Alt-orientalische Teppiche, vol. 2 (Vienna: Schroll, 1929), pl. 12. See also letter of May 3, 1930. was not for us. In fact, I think there will be few things that we can go in for during the next twelve months. I see increasing taxation ahead in the United States, but the able Delafield,Frederick P. Delafield, a partner is the law and investment brokerage firm of Hawkins, Delafield & Longfellow, New York, which had a reputation for specialized expertise in the area of governmental finance. although very conservative, has done well by us this far. He tells us not to worry unduly.

Your account of Vignier and Kelekhian [sic] spying out their colleagues treasures under guise of selecting exhibits for the Persian showInternational Exhibition of Persian Art, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, January 7–February 28, 1931. was most diverting.See letter of December 13, 1930. Did you see the latter’s blue Egyptian vase,The Blisses did not acquire this vase and its identity is unknown. See also letters of April 7, 1930; and March 14, 1931. and did you not like it? It had a bad break, but seemed a most lovely object to me.

How like d’AbernonEdgar Vincent, 1st Viscount D’Abernon (1857–1941), a British politician, diplomat, art collector, and author. See letter of January 6, 1931 [2]. to have got out from under and left everybody in the lurch, and for his own bill too. Have you discovered the dog in the wood pile and how do Arthur LeeArthur Hamilton Lee, 1st Viscount Lee of Fareham (1868–1947), a British diplomat, politician, and patron of the arts. With the financial backing of Samuel Courtauld and Joseph Duveen, he established the Courtauld Institute of Art with the University of London. Lee was a trustee of the Wallace Collection and of the National Gallery of London, where he served as chairman in 1931–1932, and a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission from 1926 until his death. See letter of January 6, 1931 [2]. end Lord CrawfordDavid Alexander Edward Lindsay, 27th Earl of Crawford and 10th Earl of Balcarres (1871–1940), a British Conservative politician and art conoisseur. See letter of January 6, 1931 [2]. show up in a situation like this?

You may have noticed that the Argentine Government is not ratifying the d’Abernon agreement.In 1930, Edgar Vincent, 1st Viscount D’Abernon, authored an agreement between Argentina and the British Labour government where Argentina would favor certain British goods by means of “bulk purchases” and the British government would not exclude Argentine meats and grains from any customs preference thereafter to be granted by Britain. This agreement was not ratified by the Argentine senate in 1931.

We enjoyed your nice quiet friend Auld.George P. Auld (1881–1962), a naval officer and a certified public accountant. He served as accountant general of the Reparation Commission between 1920 and 1924 and would have been well known to Royall Tyler. He has got a good head and manner, and one liked talking with him, but the poor man got so tired down here; that he showed the lack of exercise and long confining hours over his papers, and I felt sorry for him. He said he might return, and if so would bring his wife, and I hope he will. Also, we enjoyed seeing Drummond,James Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth (1876–1951), a Scottish representative peer, a British diplomat, and the first secretary general of the League of Nations. whom I had not met since Peace ConferenceThe Paris Peace Conference, the conference of the Allied victors following the First World War to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers. The conference took place in Paris in 1919. days. He has just acquired a most admirable member for his LeagueThe League of Nations, an international organization in Geneva whose principal missions were to maintain world peace, settle international disputes through negotiation and arbitration, and create stability within financial markets. machinery, Erik Einer Ekstrand [sic],Eric Einar Ekstrand (1880–1958), Swedish minister to Argentina who later worked in the office of the secretary general of the League of Nations. our Swedish colleague here, of whom I think we have spoken to you. He is designed by nature for Geneva where his fairness and strength will make themselves felt, and I foresee increasing influence for him during his seven years’ term. It will be interesting to watch what happens, for the small Powers have longed for a head, and Ekstrand may find himself as a neutral gradually becoming the leader of a group, which would tax even his loyalty to the utmost, but his ideals are of the highest, and his self-control and ability marked, and he will be perfectly fair to Drummond and the neutrals, and despite all difficulties win everyone’s respect—of that I am confident. I want you to know each other. He has heard us speak of you so often, that he feels his chance meeting with you at the Lindsay’s,Elizabeth and Ronald Lindsay. Sir Ronald Charles Lindsay (1877–1945) was a British civil servant and diplomat who was appointed minister to Turkey in 1925. He married his second wife, Elizabeth (1885–1954) (née Elizabeth Sherman Hoyt), in 1924. where apparently you had nothing to say to each other, was a negligible incident in an acquaintance made at second hand. So when you go to Geneva please look him up, and be as amused by his good Nordic accent as you are pleased by his sense of kindliness. We shall miss him inexpressibly here—one of the few people with whom one can discuss objectively almost any problem.

So little Salter has gone to India,See Arthur Salter, A Scheme for an Economic Advisory Organisation in India (Geneva: League of Nations, 1931), and letter of December 6, 1930. and what will come of that I wonder. Sir EricJames Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth (1876–1951), a Scottish representative peer, a British diplomat, and the first secretary general of the League of Nations. said ‘Oh, yes, Salter has gone to India, he wants more excitement’; but he did not say they should miss him, and I wondered if the omission was significant or not. Today I see in the press that he is reconstructing China!Early in 1931, Arthur Salter, director of the economic and financial section of the League of Nations, visited China to advise them on financial problems resulting from the Depression. See Arthur N. Young, China’s Nation-Building Report 1927–1937: The Financial and Economic Record (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1971), 182.

Blessings upon you for your admirable analysis of the German situation.See letters of October 4, 1930; October 21, 1930; and December 6, 1930. BrueningHeinrich Brüning (1885–1970), a German politician who served as chancellor of Germany from 1930 to 1932. seems to have considerable strength, and I note with interest the majority by which the motion to revise the Treaty was thrown out, as well as the majority by which the motion to revise the Young PlanThe Young Plan, a program for settlement of German reparations after the First World War that was written in 1929 and formally adopted in 1930. It was presented by a committee of the Allied Reparations Committee and was headed by the American Owen D. Young (1874–1962). was adopted. Evidently Germany means to attend to her problems one at a time, and having revised her Young Plan and strengthened her finance, she will then go into the political field. Were America to remit the debts, in the end Germany would be the one to benefit, and if she rights herself politically and socially, as I take it she will despite the present alarms, she will be the greatest competitor of us all. HitlerAdolf Hitler (1889–1945), an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party. seems to have played his cards badly, and to have relieved the Government considerably by walking out of Parliament, but the street clashes may become too frequent, with a provocative and aggressive agent like him and his Nazis at large. What about Parliamentary immunity? Are the Hitlerite deputies eligible for arrest? If so the Government may have its hands full on that score too.

As far as we can tell at this distance, it would appear quite likely that France should make Germany a loan in the near future, and then what about France and Italy? At any rate, grosso modo,“Roughly.” the CouloirThe Polish Corridor, also known as the Danzig Corridor, a territory which provided the Second Republic of Poland (1920–1939) access to the Baltic Sea and divided the bulk of Germany from the province of East Prussia. The corridor aroused resentment in Germany, which refused to recognize its borders. In 1931, Poland declared her commitment to peace but pointed out that any attempt to revise its borders would mean war. will become Polish, won’t it? and DanzigThe Free City of Danzig, a semi-autonomous city-state that existed between 1920 and 1939, consisting of the Baltic Sea port of Danzig (today Gdańsk) and surrounding areas. It was created on November 15, 1920, in accordance with the terms of Part III, Section XI of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. will remain a Free City? And the AnschlussWhen the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved in 1918, many German-speaking Austrians hoped to join with Germany in the realignment (Anschluss) of Europe. Nazi Germany would annex Austria in 1938. won’t take place? and Lorraine will remain French, and probably AIsace,The Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine, a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, France regained most of the Alsace-Lorraine territory. or at the most she might become autonomous—but what of Central Europe? You say there is a better tone there resulting from the fall in food prices, and the Greco-Turkish settlement is to the good; but I cannot recreate my Europe without a change in the Treaties of St. GermainThe Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the peace agreement signed in 1919 between the Allies of the First World War and the Republic of Germany-Austria. and Trianon,The Treaty of Trianon, the peace agreement signed in 1920 between the Allies of the First World War and Hungary, which regulated the status of an independent Hungarian state and defined its borders. and if anyone can make me feel happier on that score he would do me a very kindly turn.Neither the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye nor the Treaty of Trianon was ratified by the United States.

Snowden’sPhilip Snowden, 1st Viscount Snowden (1864–1937), a British politician and the first Labour chancellor of the exchequer between 1929 and 1931. In February 1931, he made a speech in the House of Commons which created a sensation. He hinted at unpopular economy measures, including cuts in social services and in unemployment benefits, in order to balance the budget and maintain England on the gold standard. speech the day before yesterday did not tell us anything new of course, but the picture it conjures up is profoundly depressing. At present it would seem that France is the most stable and conservative country in Europe, with the least danger from communism. What I cannot see clearly is how Great Britain is going to escape from the ever-increasing and terribly vicious circle in which she has got.

From the United States I hear that unemployment has stirred the people to their foundation, and that they are trying, at times intelligently, to cope with it, and that despite the multiplicity of suggestions, on one point they are agreed and that is no dole. We know nothing or the real political under-currents at present. Obviously the President is having a very bad time with the Senate. On the other hand he has scored several points, and we are told his tide has turned with the people at large, who feel he has not been fairly treated, and that he deserved better of the legislature. But what the future of the Republican party is to be I do not know. The Democrats seem to me to have a good many able men, and it would not surprise me were they to come into office. What would surprise me, however, would be to have them maintain it for more than one term.In the presidential election of 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), a leader of the Democratic Party, was elected the thirty-second president of the United States (1933–1945). He would become the only American president elected to more than two terms.

Give Bill my hearty congratulations of his passing Mods,Mods or Honour Moderations, first year university examinations that are the first public examination for the degree of B.A. See letter of January 6, 1931 [2]. and on his Dutch picture.See letter of October 31, 1930. Tel Père, tel Fils!“Like father, like son.” What fun you are going to have with him. Has he a voice? Think how romantic, were he to be able to sing lullabies to Gräfin Lily,Klothilde (“Lily”), Gräfin von Herberstein (1899–1975). to the accompaniment of Romàn!Roman Wisata (b. 1909), a Czech violinist and the student and later assistant of Otakar Ševčík at the Innsbruck Konservatorium. As a diplomatist he is evidently first rate, and we shall hear from him certainly as a negotiator!See letter of December 6, 1930. I cannot imagine anything pleasanter than for you than to show him Spain for the first time, and shall want a long account of that. But I am most sorry, dear Royall, that it was a state of ‘livery misery’ that led you to stay with the delightful Mrs. Menteath, and do not like at all your feeling low and depressed.See letter of January 6, 1931 [2]. Of course Elisina has been a great support to you. She would be to anybody, with her buoyancy and courage. Nobody better than I can understand that the world should look a bit dark to one who sees it at such close range and as clearly as you do. But do not let it get under your skin. We are all going to be called upon to bear a good deal in the next few years, and we must keep a reserve of equanimity with which to meet the only too certain future, alas! Of course you are justifying the confidence which HambroHambros Bank, a British bank based in London. The Hambros Bank specialized in Anglo-Scandinavian business, with expertise in trade finance and investment banking, and was the sole banker to the Scandinavian kingdoms for many years. The bank was sold in 1998. Royall Tyler worked as a European representative of the Hambros Bank between 1928 and 1931. has placed in you.See letter of December 6, 1930. You do not know what the word unconscientious means, nor inefficiency, either. So do not take the business conditions too much to heart, even though, as you say, they are ‘perfectly horrible.’See letter of October 31, 1930.

When you write tell us about Wisata’s concert, or did you say it was only coming off in April? and is Hayford with you or in Maine? and tell me how the photographic libraryElisina Tyler established an archive of photographs of Byzantine objects; the project was partly funded by contributions solicited by Mildred Barnes Bliss. See also letters of May 7, 1927; November 20, 1927; January 30, 1929; February 28, 1929 [2]; March 11, 1929; and March 29, 1929 [1]. is progressing. Yes, Kathleen PeabodyMrs. Frederick Forrest (Kathleen Burke) Peabody donated $500 to the Tylers’ photographic reference library at Antigny-le-Château on February 6, 1929. Bliss Papers, HUGFP 38.6, box. 2. She married Girard Van Barkaloo Hale (1886–1958) in 1930. has married Gerald [sic] Hale,Girard Van Barkaloo Hale (1886–1958), a landscape, portrait, and mural artist. an American painter, who was down here last year at the time she was.See letter of December 13, 1930. He is a nice man, steady, and with character, and I hope the poor woman has steered her bark into a happy haven at last. Hale painted a portrait of PapaThis painting has not been identified. recently, which has just reached us and is really a most striking likeness. It is about three quarter actual size, a format so often used by the Dutch, and although not quite right in tone, he has kept the values well and it is an agreeable painting to live with. I have not read Willumsen’s ‘La Jeunesse du Greco’Jens Ferdinand Willumsen, La jeunesse du peintre El Greco: Essai sue l’artiste byzantine en peintre européen (Paris: Crès, 1927). but shall—mañana! I simply cannot tell you what an empty and unfed existence I have led since we left Paris. I wrote on my wretched little bookMildred Barnes Bliss was working on a book about Sweden, the outcome and whereabouts of which are unknown. See also letter of January 6, 1930. across the Ocean, so that I reached here tired, and since the day we landed I have only once been to bed before 2 o’clock, and often it is later. One is not alone the whole day, and has to spend so much on others that if one were by any chance to have half an hour free, the most vacuous kind of ‘solitaire’ would be more to one’s taste than the most interesting of books. For the month of March we have a houseful of guests, and in April people return to Town and distractions begin again. So I made the sacrifice of not going down to Ancharena Patagonia EstanciaA guest ranch in Archorena, Patagonia, Argentina. with Robert and a party of friends we are really attached to, so as to clear the decks and be ready for the fray. But I think in April I shall have to go off for two or three weeks to write the Iast chapter and get that incubus off my hands. EkstrandEric Einar Ekstrand (1880–1958), Swedish minister to Argentina who later worked in the office of the secretary general of the League of Nations. has been a real friend, for despite the amount of labour entailed by his transfer to the League of Nations,The League of Nations, an international organization in Geneva whose principal missions were to maintain world peace, settle international disputes through negotiation and arbitration, and create stability within financial markets. he has verified every word of my manuscript.

Sat. Feb. 14/31

There is still a good bit to say I didn’t care to dictate to the nice little Eng. Steno. who is replacing Miss KingsfordDorothy Kingsford was Mildred Barnes Bliss’s secretary in Buenos Aires and later Robert Woods Bliss’s secretary at Dumbarton Oaks. now on leave.

The Br. Trade FairBritish Empire Trade Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March–April, 1931, a fair that attempted to stimulate trade between the British Empire and Argentina.: Apparently the Br. are making so gt. an effort that the Arg. incline to smile. The Archdeacon prays from the pulpit that the mission of ‘Edward of Wales & his brother George may bring aid to the Empire.’ The 2 Eng. dailies abound with invitations to engage advertising space early. The Br. Ch. of Com. is agog; the Br. Amb. exhausted; & the Am. Con. attaché alone unmoved. While this last ‘our backs to the wall’ effort is being made at gt. expense by the Br., the Am. are quietly opening factories with Am. money & initiative but Arg. directors, flags, charters, etc. It is profoundly distressing to me to see Eng. gasping for breath, but one must face the fact that in Arg. he is setting as that of the U.S. rises. The visit of H.R.H.Probably Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (1894–1972). Both Prince Edward and his brother, Prince George, Duke of Kent, visited the British Empire Trade Fair in March 1931. will create a lot of dust among the little darlings and the Introductor de los Embajadores“Introducer of Ambassadors.” has asked for leave of absence immediately after the Prince’s departure, to ‘tomar el aire’!“Take the air.” I’ll pass on the high spots to you. You will remember our telling you abt. our Br. Colleague last year? This year is quite different; far less companionable but much more sincere. Today I see that StimsonHenry Lewis Stimson (1867–1950), an American statesman who served as secretary of state in 1929–1933. is withdrawing the marines fr. NicaraguaIn 1931, Henry Louis Stimson announced that the remaining U.S. marines in Nicaragua would be removed by 1933. See David F. Schmitz, Henry L. Stimson: The First Wise Man (Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 2001), 58–59. & my emotions are mixed. Delighted to have us withdraw, my unchristian nature would look into our troublous times in that little country that Latin Am. might be forced to admit at last [undecipherable] by incitation & not for greed.

Should you be in Spain at this moment you, better than most, will understand what is happening beneath the surface & then ‘for God’s sake sing’! They don’t particularly like the Spanish here but there is never the less an atavistic comprehension. The Arg. likes & enjoys the Fr. but understands the Sp., though he feels superior to him.

Will you tell yr. opinion of CamboFrancesc Cambó i Batlle (1876–1947), a conservative Catalan politician. & BerenguerDámaso Berenguer y Fusté, Count of Xauen (1873–1953), a Spanish politician and prime minister of Spain in 1930. & what you think are the chances of a Republic during the life of this King.Alfonso XIII (1886–1941), king of Spain from 1886 until 1941.

Also please write us abt. Pope & Frank GuntherFranklin Mott Gunther (1885–1941), an American foreign service officer, who was U.S. minister to Egypt (1928–1930) and Romania (1937–1941). He served on the general committee for the International Exhibition of Persian Art, Royal Academy, Burlington House, London, January 7–February 28, 1931. & the Am. Persian Institute.Probably the American Institute of Persian Art and Archaeology, which was founded in 1930 to encourage an appreciation of Persian art in its various forms. The mission of the institute was to promote research, organize and assist archaeological expeditions and art exhibitions, and publish the results of these activities. They put Robert on the Advisory Council (interesting, no?) & he wants to know more abt. it before getting in deeper, as they request. If properly managed, it ought to be able to accomplish much.

Did I tell you I made friends with Arduino Colasanti?Arduino Colasanti (1877–1935), an Italian art historian. do you know him? He returns here the coming winter (S. Hem.) & brings us good photos. of Pompeii’s new house.Possibly the House of Loreius Tiburtinus, excavated at Pompeii between 1916 and 1921.

With only one R.C.“Roman Catholic.” friend here can I discuss the mystical & he shrugs his shoulders saying ‘Consistency & logic keep one perpetually in the middle ages’! It is time I stopped or this will miss the boat. Our Cte de Castillon de St. VictorComte Georges de Castillon de Saint-Victor, French balloonist who entered balloon races at the beginning of the twentieth century. is taking it for me. Good thinking goes on in his rather cultivated head but he’s so wretched physically one can scarce understand what he says! My love to Elisina & my Bourguignon who must both be as pleased as yr.self that he is able to read for Final Schools when he goes up to reside in the summer term. It would be good of him to write me how the year’s programme dispenses itself & the dates of holidays, so I may think of you ll at Antigny at the right moment. And Elisina to forgive my delinquencies & write me of her side of the picture & if true that AldrovandiLuigi Aldrovandi Marescotti, Count of Viano (1876–1945), an Italian diplomat and ambassador to Germany between 1926 and 1929. In 1929 Aldrovandi left his post as Italian ambassador to Germany and became Italian minister of Foreign Affairs. goes to Wash.? Also of Gioia & Pizzi [sic]. Do you both like the Caetani Dante?Gelasio Caetani, ed., Comedia Dantis Aldigherii poetae florentini (Sancasciano Val di Pesa, 1930). Gelasio Caetani (1877–1934) was appointed Italian ambassador to the United States by Mussolini in 1922 and was a friend of the Blisses. Of course I’m not competent to judge of the scholarship but it’s a model to see & read. What is Edith writing now? The last we read was ‘Certain People’.Certain People was published in 1930. How gratifying to have our Academy decry the false scent followed by the Nobel Inst. and run true in electing Edith.In 1930, Edith Wharton was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1927, friends of Edith Wharton, including the Blisses, promoted her for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded to Henri Bergson instead. Nothing has given me such pleasure in a long time. You will be amused to hear, speaking of Edith, that at 630 today I receive a call fr. the newly arr’d Psse de Polignac!Winnaretta Singer, Princess Edmond de Polignac (1865–1943), an American patron of music in Paris and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Si, Señor, a mí acquí [sic]!“Yes sir, to me here!” And again, to mention other irrelevancies, I see Demotte’s son has married Wildenstein’s daughter.Andrée Kridel Wildenstein, daughter of the art collector and dealer Felix Wildesntein (1883–1952), married Lucien Demotte, son of the art dealer Georges Joseph Demotte (1877–1923), on January 29, 1930. How many problems has America solved!

Growler,Mildred Barnes Bliss’s nickname for Royall Tyler. dear, dear Growler, the truth is I miss you hurtingly, & that I am tired in mind and body & realize this job is diminishing me & I want to get out desperately. But the moment has not quite come. Robert will recognize it when it does, & despite the wrench of leaving govt. service he will be thankful to possess his freedom, too. Don’t please don’t be low in spirit. It’s not easy to keep one’s colours flying high these years, but you can take any fence you mean to—one of the very few who can.

I beg for a line fr. you quickly to tell me how you are in mind and body. Bless you always.