TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 1990

BLUE HEIGHTS DRIVE

THESE NOTES ARE ABOUT a friend I never met, and whom, if she hadn’t existed, I might have half invented (maybe) on my own. Her name was Emmy Scheyer, but she was called “Galka,” and she came to the United States in 1924 from Germany. Landing first in New York, she spent time in the Public Library here looking up the addresses of most every cultural institution in the nation. When she wasn’t writing these museums about the several contemporary European artists she felt they needed for their collections, she was observing the pace of the natives, whom she thought of as endlessly rushing about on the “trellis” of the city. One of her letters netted her an invitation to lecture at the Oakland Art Gallery, and by the late ’20s she had become the controversial voice of new art in the Bay Area—the gallery’s “European representative,” and special art correspondent for the San Francisco Examiner. She then moved south to Los Angeles, where she came to rest (comparatively) on top of a Hollywood hill, a resident curator-dealer-self-appointed-seer-of- abstract-art to the stars.

Restless with the comfortable life of her family in Braunschweig, northern Germany, where she was born in 1889, Scheyer had left home as a young woman to study art in England, Italy, France, Belgium, and, during World War I, in Switzerland. It was there that she first saw the work of Alexei von Jawlensky, which excited her sufficiently that she turned her considerable energies to his painting instead of making her own. It was Jawlensky who gave her the pet-name Galka, Russian for “little bird,” and he also introduced her to the main figures of the German avant-garde, in particular the Bauhaus circle. And eventually Jawlensky would also be one of the group of artists—Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Lyonel Feininger were the others—who called themselves the “Blue Four,” and for whom she became the West Coast agent. Feininger thought four a good for America (he didn’t say why), and all agreed that blue was a spiritual color. Also, all of the artists but Jawlensky had been associated with the Blaue Reiter group in Munich. “If a group of unknown artists from the Orient would send works. . .this group would then have a characteristic name,” reasoned Klee. “In no case should it end with ‘ism’ or ‘ist . . .it should. . .attempt to do nothing more than indicate the innovative character, the spiritual leadership, or, what is most beautiful, their friendship.”1

These four artists, whom Scheyer revered for the rest of her life, allowed her to be their art missionary in the wilds of western America. Like a small whirlwind stirring up the local dust, despite the dampening effects of the Great Depression and later of world war, she dedicated herself with passion and persistence to introducing their artwork there. Only death—from cancer, in 1945—was able to still her.

My picture of Galka is admittedly personal, a concoction of clues manufactured into a character I find sympathetic. At least in my mind’s eye, she and I share several reference points. There is a common locale: her home-gallery-church of advanced art was in the Hollywood Hills, not far from where I was born, and its architect was Richard Neutra, with whom she fought tooth and nail and mortar during its construction, just as family friends of mine were to do later over their own Neutra home. (Many of my strongest memories are of that house, including being awoken at 7 A.M. on a Sunday by Neutra himself, wanting to know how the family slept.) A short redhead in a land of tall blonds, Galka was also a literal alien in that sunlit world, as I felt myself to be in spirit during my growing-up years. Also, my connection with her goes back to my childhood, if indirectly.

As a teen, I often visited the old Pasadena Museum. I liked this former-Chinese-curio-shop-turned-art-space and liked to look at the peculiar-seeming pictures exhibited there in galleries intended to house Ming urns. One day I was sitting by the fountain in the inner courtyard when an older woman came rushing by with boxes of papers. She was having difficulty getting up the stairs to the second story of the complex, and I offered help. Inside the boxes were loose folders of letters, with here and there in the margins small drawings, some of faces with L-shaped noses, others of boats. The letters were in German, a language I understand no better now than I did then, but the drawings were easy to enjoy, and they reminded me of pictures in the galleries, in the Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection. (Later I would fit the names of the artists into a wider art history, but not then.) The letters were in fact written to and from Galka Scheyer over the twenty-some years of her service as an art agent. I realize now that the woman carrying them was almost certainly Lette Valeska, a childhood friend of Galka’s from Germany, whom she invited to California in 1937 when the Nazis made Europe unsafe, and who, in 1961, years after Galka’s death, returned the favor by convincing the Pasadena Art Alliance to finance an archive of her papers.

Thinking back on this time in my adolescence, I realize that my and other Californians’ debt to Galka, though indirect, is enormous. First, of course, she was one of the people responsible for the importation of Modern visual art to a part of the world that had seen little of it, and that, as her letters show, was not much interested in it—yet there the works are now, available for the view of both adult and teenage connoisseurs. More intangibly, Galka served me as an example of someone in love with art and ideas, a romance to be valued. I have since learned that she was a difficult and complex person, and self-glorifying in her view of her mission. But that does nothing to change the essential image I created of her for myself in the Los Angeles of the late bland ’50s, or the importance the idea of her holds for me now, as a more knowledgeable adult, after the trendy ’80s.

While in Los Angeles two years ago for an extended stay, I had plenty of solitary hours to visit nearby museums—more time than when I actually lived in the town to look at old favorites, be surprised and often pleased by adventurous additions, and to find the faint memory of Galka Scheyer coming to mind. In the Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena (the current incarnation of the Pasadena Museum, and still the site of both the Galka Scheyer collection and the letter archive) for another look at the artworks that had been my introduction to serious Modern art, I learned that a scholar, Peg Weiss, had been working for years on the material in the archive. To look at the letters one needed to apply to the registrar, presenting qualifications and reasons for study. Since neither was in good order, I let the matter drop.

Back in New York, in conversation with a friend, Catrina Neiman, who had just written a book on the filmmaker and author Maya Deren, I mentioned in passing my interest in Galka. Catrina told me that Galka had been an important influence on Deren and on her work. In fact, Catrina’s book included photographs of the two women together, taken in the mid ’40s by the photographer Alexander Hammid.2 These pictures were my first glimpse of Galka. Hammid, now in New York, agreed to a visit from me at which he offered more pictures and gentle conversation. Thanks to Hammid, I met and talked with two women who had been part of Galka’s world: Hella Hammid (Alexander’s former wife, and Lette Valeska’s daughter) and Jane Ullman. In both conversations, Galka emerged as an intense, demanding (often of the impossible), contradictory person who did not stop to understand or to acknowledge limitations. A woman vain of her strength, Galka was also a less-than-businesslike dealer who hated to part with a painting; strong and independent, she nonetheless took her sense of self-importance more from being handmaiden to an idea than from being its author. Hella Hammid assured me that the house was still there, unchanged and well respected, on a winding road Galka had named Blue Heights Drive. Ullman recalled helping Galka with the art lessons that she taught to help cover expenses, and her hopes of winning a Guggenheim fellowship for this unique program. She had developed her theories of art education while still in Europe, after formal study at Oxford and in Paris; and she had formulated them as a method under the title “Creative and Imaginative Painting.” At the Walden School in New York, the Anna Head School in Berkeley, and in private sessions in Los Angeles, Galka taught that all creation comes from inside, and she designed her sessions as reinforcements and encouragements for children to enjoy the freedom offered by art. As one former student remembered, "She allowed you to act freely, gave you a strong structural education thought, so you could understand what art was all about. . .she instilled love of medium, not ABCs of art.”3 Only with the children who attended her classes, it seems, was Galka endlessly patient. Reading the outline of her unsuccessful Guggenheim application makes one muse about what might have been for American art education had the grant been won.

Some time later, granted access to the Norton Simon archives, I observed that the letters I had helped carry upstairs so long ago turned out to be revealing documents of their time—the ’20s, ’30s, and early ’40s—and of the lives of the artists trying to navigate a world rapidly coming apart. With the rise of Hitler, the artists who had constituted the tightly knit community of the Bauhaus have to scatter to remain afloat: Klee retreats to the haven of Switzerland, Kandinsky eventually settles in Paris, while the Feiningers make their way to New York. In Germany, there remains only a discouraged Jawlensky, no longer working because stricken by arthritis. Galka is outlived only by Feininger.

It is tempting to read endlessly in the letters, with their artistic shoptalk, exchanges of prices (in 1935, a Jawlensky head is sold for $25, on a down payment of $1; the purchaser is a “young, very talented composer” named John Cage), personal impressions of now-historic events, and on-the-spot reviews of particular paintings and exhibitions. The letters also have their bad temper, their bruised and bruising egos, and their cloying pet-names, balanced by a good-humored generosity of spirit and by shared interests. There are repeated references to a deep love of music, both new and old. Even when matter-of-fact and businesslike, the letters offer hints of the personal, and reveal a tone of voice, a quality of thought. It is all there: cultural and social history shown through individual lives, and taken all together (there are hundreds of letters), a 20th-century epic in the form of an 18th-century epistolary novel: Les Liaisons Dangereuses sans sex.

The letters also cast light on another, distinctly American aspect of Modernism, namely the movies. For Galka was living in Hollywood, and her prospective clients, besides well-known collectors like Lou and Walter Arensberg, were film people. Thus Charles Laughton, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Edward G. Robinson, Vincent Price, and the Marx Brothers all make somewhat incongruous-seeming appearances here. The German-emigré movie directors Fritz Lang and Josef von Sternberg were among Galka’s hopes: what better use, she reasoned, for the cash proceeds of their American success than to support her artists? Neither agreed. They came to the house for visits and picnics, but not to buy art. Kandinsky would ask after Shirley Temple, but even the child member of the American galaxy remained at a distance. “These film people such as Fritz Lang, von Sternberg, etc.,” the artist accordingly complained, "seem to be very platonic people—at least as far as my painting is concerned—love without any further consequences.”4

Included too are a few New Yorkers, such as a patronizingly described Alfred Barr, of a very new Museum of Modern Art; a less-than-appreciated Hilla Rebay guiding Solomon Guggenheim in his art endeavors; and even a brief mention of Sidney Janis as a collector one should know. The artist Alexander Archipenko is a short-term resident in Los Angeles, though Galka shows more excitement over the stay there of Diego Rivera, who subsequently decides to arrange an exhibition of the Blue Four in Mexico City. (Galka accompanies the work to Mexico and then hand-carries it back across the border.) It is the culturally “Europeanized” Arensbergs who are the most important patrons, purchasing around 27 works over the years, many of them now in the Philadelphia Museum. But even the Arensbergs prove less than wholehearted: their friendship with Galka is broken, in 1934–35, over her handling of the purchase of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase I of 1911 (Galka withheld information and was found out), and the cumulative effects of her difficult personality.5 As the ceramist Beatrice Wood recalls, “Museum directors, gallery owners and the elite of the art world often met at the Arensbergs. Rarely was Scheyer invited. Even though she knew far more than most of them, her manner put people off.” Yet the Arensbergs "appreciated her burning heart and valued the friendship of this extraordinary woman. Walter and Scheyer would lose themselves in conversation about art for hours. Walter was starving for this kind of exchange. But eventually there was a disagreement . . . and Lou, who found it hard to endure Galka’s shrieking—or perhaps her artistic affinity with Walter—used it as an excuse to halt the meetings.”6

As the letters progress, Galka becomes more American, but never completely: in her stubborn way, she is not changing but adapting to survival on her hilltop above Sunset Boulevard. She does what she can during the hard times of the ’30s, in a community quite uncertain in its attitude toward “culture.” Her rhapsodies about the California sunlight, flowers, and the woes of building her dream house seem somewhat callous messages to the artists watching firsthand the disintegration of Europe, especially when they are attached to explanations of why paintings haven’t quite been sold to movie stars who, she reports, “love” seeing the canvases on her pearl-gray walls. She describes the distant ocean view from her house on clear days, and the lights of Hollywood below her eucalyptus and bamboo trees at night. To her artist friends mired in prewar and wartime Europe, this must have seemed to be coming from another planet. Kandinsky writes to her of the “Entartete Kunst” exhibition in Munich in 1937, attended, he hears, by over a million people, more than the population of the city, and re- marks, "It is really not a pessimistic joke to say that human beings are educated for the better by sorrow.”7

Yet Galka too was in an alien climate. In 1939 she tells Kandinsky that as a benefit for Spanish refugees she has helped to arrange an exhibition of Picasso’s Guernica in Los Angeles, at a cost of $2,000; George Cukor has given $100 toward that sum, and Edward G. Robinson $50, but only “60 people appeared for the gala opening and only 35 of them paid the $2.50 entrance charge.” Some of the newspapers are “full of talk about cuckoo art.”8 The Arensbergs have not contributed, reasoning that there is no use doing so in a city that just does not care. In the late ’30s there were few art institutions in Los Angeles: the County Museum was still an ”arts and sciences“ complex that used the major part of its space for reconstructed dinosaurs from the La Brea tar pits, and the University of California’s plans for art resided somewhere in the in- finite future. The audience for serious art was limited and conservative in its tastes, having only recently accepted the Impressionists and perhaps Matisse, occasionally stretching to early Picasso, but rarely any farther. To make matters worse, local art politics were heated by conflicting agendas that left whatever support there was as fragmented as the Balkans. Writing from Paris, Kandinsky replies to Galka, ”It seems to me that people are unwilling to see here (which is unfavorable) while over there they cannot see (which is it?).”9

Sadly, too, the letters are a record of how even the best of friendships can, over time, become strained through a lack of intimate contact. Small misunderstandings become oversized when expressed in letters; weeks and months interrupt the flow of the conversation. The demands of art business also make the correspondence increasingly formal and professional in nature. This becomes all the truer as these once-prosperous artists find themselves in less appreciative times. Yet single-mindedly Galka Scheyer tends her “dear honored,” “very revered” “Masters,” the “Blue Four Kings,” and the artists all reply to their far-away “ambassadress,” their “minister,” their “little friend.” Her interest remains firm; the intense energy fired in her by the German avant-garde still burns twenty years later in the balmy climes of California. Her attention is exclusive. While she knew such Bay Area painters as the group called the Society of Six, and influenced them by introducing them to European art, she never included them in her activities. Among the pieces listed in her collection at the Norton Simon are photo- graphs by Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, but she writes not a word to the Four about this generation of photographers, not even to Feininger, whose son Andreas was a significant photographer himself. Did she feel superior to her surroundings? That is not unusual among missionaries.

In a newspaper article in the Los Angeles Times in 1955, ten years after Galka's death, Arthur Millier re- called her as “a perfectionist with a temper.” She had a habit, apparently, of demanding that such and such a painting be rehung, displaced this way or that by a half inch, and by 1933 museum directors would only consent to show her Blue Four if she promised to keep her hands off the installation.10 She could use her booming voice to the discomfort of those around her as easily as in the service of art, annoying even the worldly Beatrice Wood, who otherwise supported her with conviction: “Not only would she take charge of the scene and dominate it, but her shrill voice was exhausting. Knowing her eagerness to be accepted in certain circles and her capacity for contributing ideas, I finally found the courage to tell her that she would be invited out more often if she would not shout so much. She was outraged. ‘But I will shout,’ she shrieked, gesticulating wildly. ‘It is what I say that is important, not how I say it.’”11 There is little doubt that Galka had an ability to antagonize people, that her demeanor was rather intense, even overwhelming, and that she was defensive of her artistic turf. But complaints about her character are generally linked with the recognition that she was remarkable.

That she was there on the edge between the desert and the sea, and that she cared so much, sticking it out, made her an important catalyst for many of those in the West Coast art community who could weather the storm of her personality. Europeans and Americans met at her home, the wayside shrine of new art, where she officiated over the encounter of people and ideas. That it was difficult to make things happen in the cultural landscape of the West reflected no lack of effort on Galka’s part. She would lecture and organize exhibitions for anyone who showed an interest (and for some who did not), at private houses, world fairs, YWCAs, and beside the modern furniture at Hale’s department store in San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose. She would even poke out ideas at the Walt Disney studio, to which, she reports, she was asked to be a “consultant.” What Galka helped create was a small tremor that would eventually include the likes of me in its far outer ripples. It was not the esthetic earthquake she hoped to catalyze, but it was a fissure in the indifference of the time.

Amy Baker Sandback is a writer who lives in New York.

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NOTES

1. Paul Klee, letter to Galka Scheyer, 10 January 1924. This and all subsequent letters quoted are in the Blue Four-Galka Scheyer archive, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, Calif.

2. VèVè A. Clark, Millicent Hodson, and Catrina Neiman, The Legend of Maya Deren: A Documentary Biography and Collected Works, 3 vols., New York: Anthology Film Archives/Film Culture, 1988. See Neiman’s vol. 1 part 2, pp. 49–50.

3. Jae Carmichael, undated interview in Galka Scheyer archive.

4. Wassily Kandinsky, letter to Scheyer, 19–21 October 1937.

5. I am indebted for this information to Naomi Sawelson-Gorse, the archivist of the Arensberg archives at the Francis Bacon Library, Claremont, Calif.

6. Beatrice Wood, I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood, ed. Lindsay Smith, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1985, rev. ed. 1988, p. 88.

7. Kandinsky, letter to Scheyer, 21 October 1937.

8. Scheyer, letter to Kandinsky, 6 September 1939.

9. Kandinsky, letter to Scheyer, 2 October 1939.

10. See Winifred E. Higgins, “Art Collection in lhe Los Angeles Area, 1910–1960,” Ph.D. diss., 1963, chap. 9 p. 12.

11. Wood, pp. 88–89.

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These letters, most of them in translation from the German, are contained in the Blue Four–Galka Scheyer Archives and published courtesy of the Norton Simon Museum at Pasadena.

Klee writes a poem, on a used envelope, to celebrate the birth of the Blue Four, 1924.
The following four
blue professors,
one from the occupied territory
of von Schablensky,
three in the heart of
Germany national Bauhaus,
namely Linseed-oil Onefinger,
Prince Schablinsky, and
Mr. Pauline of Grass.
Please ask Westheim
to make all this known
in his art journal.

Under the title
the Blue Four have joined together
for the purpose of selling
bad art in the United States
under the direction of their nursemaid,
Mrs. Emmy Schejerin.
The Leaders:
The Easel
The lmpresser
The Expresser
The Express-Sarah
The Fourseated Pony Express

Kandinsky writes to Galka, Dessau, April 1, 1926.
I know for certain that we are entering a new, romantic period, only this romanticism is related to “tomorrow” and not to “yesterday.” I consider myself a romantic of tomorrow—Romanticism in abstract form, which speaks in a cool manner and in a manner that absolutely cannot be translated into words,—as it was possible to do with the old romanticism, and as it is with that false one of today, Neo-Objectivity, post-Impressionism, and so on. This new false romanticism is very earthly and that is why it depends partly on political tasks. This for me is repulsive in the highest degree!!!! All that can prevent man from becoming beastly machines are the arts. Those who dare to bend the arts down to everyday human affairs are evil enemies of mankind. Very often abstract painters belong to this category. That’s why I don’t like them, and why they hate me and fight me wherever they can.

This does not imply that I am a theosoph! I never have been one, though formerly I associated with them, was interested in theosophy, and would have loved to be accepted in their circles. . . . But the art theorists have to place me somewhere—therefore, I am sometimes introduced to the public as a “theosoph,” sometimes as a painting musician, a “painting mathematician,’’ or as a “philosopher.” After many, really many years, I am beginning to get a little angry about all these misrepresentations. Some of my friends console me by saying that I am ahead of my time and that I must be patient, or that I have to live another 50 years. I have always been patient, but to live another 50 years—won’t work.

Jawlensky writes to Galka, November 9, 1928.
Little Galka, dear, I received the money, a million thanks. I will not complain, it does not help at all. But if it is possible, and if President Hoover is not against art the way he is against liquor, then tell the good man that my art can intoxicate better than good wine. It is not prohibited. The intoxication lasts much longer, is more beautiful and healthier. Really. Perhaps you will find someone who will think about it, and who will drink my wine, and who will send me some money, for I must order many frames in order to be able to open an exhibition. . . . I plead the good Americans to help me a little. They will not lose anything, they only gain.

Kandinsky writes to Galka, Dessau, May 9, 1931.
I was particularly pleased with the acquisition of Kreise im Kreis [Circles in the circle] by the Arensbergs, whom I would like to tell eventually that that picture was the first picture of mine to bring the theme of circles to the foreground. The second picture, with only circles, is hanging in the Dresden picture galleryEinige Kreise [Several circles]. The third, larger one, with circles in an indefinite spot, belongs to Ralfs. They are pleasant relatives of Kreise im Kreis. That will perhaps interest the Arensbergs.

Galka Scheyer writes to all the Blue Four from Los Angeles, August 2, 1933.
I found a building site. . .10 minutes from Hollywood. . .a thousand feet above sea level, that is to say above Hollywood and it is still a part of Hollywood. . .on the peak of a mountain with a view to the south where Los Angeles and Hollywood lie like an ocean; a view to the east where one can see the snow-covered Sierras; a view to the west where one can see the ocean and the fairytale island of Catalina.

One drives up a slowly rising serpentine road with views which suddenly open up before one’s eyes and only the French Riviera is comparable with it and, the higher one goes, the more one’s soul expands until one reaches the top and is in the realm of the divine.

And all of this for only $150.

Kandinsky writes to Galka, Neuilly-sur-Seine, May 29, 1936.
The catalogue from the New York exhibition “Abstract and Cubist Painting” was finally sent to me. What did you think of it? It views my painting more from a historical point of view, but was quite thorough for the prewar period and without glaring mistakes. As a historian [Alfred] Barr suffers from influence-discoveries that sometimes appear rather droll. For example, the relating of my landscape Zwei Pappeln [Two poplars]. . .to a picture by Gauguin! Or my old watercolor to Malevich, also not bad. The last straw, however, is the assertion that my Parisian painting was influenced by Arp and Miró. With equal justification Barr could have mentioned Corot instead of Arp, Velásquez instead of Miró. . . . In general,. . . “influences” in form are not substantial, which is something historians seldom realize. They frequently call such superficial similarities “schools.” A school is, in my opinion, the foundation of the spirit in the next generation. The acceptance and propagation of form is decadence. I am grateful to Barr, however, that he didn’t trace my painting back to Cubism, as is often done here in Paris, but directly to Cézanne, which is true in my opinion. To be sure, I did get the first shock from Claude Monet’s Haystack when I was still a student in Moscow. Then I understood dimly, i.e., “subconsciously,” that the object as such is not the essential thing. With Cézanne I learned that the painter must paint. . . .

I. . .like the Parisian light, which, when we first moved here, so deeply affected me that I couldn’t work at all for months. There is a crass difference between the light here and in central Germany—here it is overwhelming and gentle at the same time. There are also gray days, with overcast sky but without rain. This rarely occurs in Germany. And on such gray days the light is unbelievably rich, the range of colors manifold and with countless gradations. These light qualities remind me of the light conditions in and around Moscow. I am therefore “at home” in this light. As a great contrast to it, I love the light in Bavaria, where it “thunders,” is always a “fortissimo.” I learned a lot there. I am glad that the few remaining Bavarian landscapes from 1908–1909 that I still have are well-liked here. I am especially proud of the fact that the colors are still so fresh to this day as if they were still moist. It was not in vain that I occupied myself so long with technical matters. Self-praise! As far as “technique” goes, it is unbelievable the kind of “illiterates” the great painters are here nowadays. . . . Strangely enough, a great deal of emphasis is being placed here on “brio,” on “ferocity in painting.” These qualities are supposed to show the [artist’s] spirit! No. Spirit does not only consist of noise, but, what is more essential, of mastery and the control of inner tension. The best driver is not the one who drives two hundred kilometers per hour, without consideration for difficulties and hazards; it is the one who arrives at his destination unscathed and with an unscratched car, after negotiating the worst roads slowly. The same thing applies to “bravery” in battle. And to all risky affairs. And painting is always risky.

Feininger writes to Galka, New York, November 7, 1939.
That must be heavenly to be high up there in your bungalow! Even the pictures give us an indication of the hills and the light, but in your description and in our memory it is even more beautiful and we feel the greatest longing to visit you once again and to spend days of the most heavenly peace at your house. And it is really touching that you designate your penthouse as the property of the Blue Four. There is not one of them who would not gladly enter that refuge which you, dear Emmy, have prepared for them with your warm heart. If one thinks how badly things are going for the distant Blue Brothers Jawlensky, Kandinsky, and Klee—two are seriously ill and the third, in Paris, lives without a passport and without nationality—and the foul atmosphere of Europe which threatens to kill off everything that can be called humanity, art, and culture! But the house is standing there and no one can come. Even the fourth Blue Brother, who would like so much to do so. For he must remain here for the present and expand his position to such an extent that later at least his presence will not be necessary all the time. . . .

_How are your relatives in Germany? Isn’t it hellish what is happening there under the aegis of “legality”? I am afraid that this will become the usual form for the development of power among nations; the greatest aptitude for power: lies, cunning, terror, threats by means of unheard-of readiness for arms—the list is long and in vain does one search in it for a single human virtue. —Oh dear! I didn’t want to write about it!

I heard yesterday that Barlach is dead. What has become of Heckel? Of Schmidt-R.? Of Kokoschka? Of the Marcs and others? We are fortunate to be in the United States, which is still free, though perhaps too imprudently unconcerned. God, this country is wonderful!—_

And now all my greetings for this time from your faithful Papileo.

Feininger writes to Galka, New York, December 13, 1945—the day she died.
Dearest Little Friend,
What a sad little note. Galka is very ill, Galka doesn’t listen to music, nor does she read; only still she can look a little at pictures; pictures have always made out her chief happiness, her great object in living. It is a great grief, to know Galka is so ill; we send Galka our dearest love and wishes for renewed health. Dear Galka!

Julia + Papileo