Viewing page 7 of 19


July 10, 1937

Dear John,

We are glad to hear that Kathleen is showing at least some improvement, and sincerely hope that the next few months will bring her back into good health. Sara and I are going up into Michigan for about a month; we are going to start tomorrow morning. Among other things, I plan to do a portrait up there. We don't know yet where we'll stay --whether it will be Kalamazoo or near there, but if you write, just address us here and the letter will be forwarded. As soon as we get established, we'll let you know where we are. 

In regard to the frames, I wouldn't use gumwood if I were you. It is too heavy and has a very bad trick of warping. The best of all, probably, is poplar, if you can get it. Next to that, but not as good, is good clear white pine. Sugar pine is easy to get and doesn't warp, but it has this disadvantage--it dents easily in shipping. 

As far as paint is concerned, I'd suggest using any good standard grade of semi-gloss interior housepaint, using the directions on the can for priming and finish coats. When it comes to glazing or toning down the paint, I would recommend Moore's glazing liquid. If you can't get that, Sherwin Williams put out a good grade of it too, and there are, I think, several other standard brands. These commercial glazes have lots of wax in them and dry out pretty dull and flat, which is, of course, desirable. You can put any kind of tube color with them to get the tone you desire.

You might like to try experimenting, too, with powdered rottenstone to get an antique effect. You can get rottenstone at almost any good paint store. You use it at the very last when your glazing liquid is still slightly tacky, dusting it on with a soft brush and rubbing it off again on the high spots after the glazing liquid is dry.

I certainly hope the Kansas deal comes out all right; I'll be anxious to hear of it. I have not broken with Walker yet. Did you know he has gone or is going to Europe? Good luck on the frames; If I can give you any more dope, just let me know.

Sara joins me in best regards to you both and in best wishes for Kathleen's health. Sara, incidentally, is doing very well.

Grant W 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact