Violet Oakley, USSR, Mr. Andrei A. Gromyko, United Nations Series
A leading figure in American art throughout her life, Violet Oakley (1874 -1961) was a painter, muralist, illustrator, portraitist, architectural and industrial designer, writer, civic leader, and advocate for world peace.
When the United States did not join the League of Nations after World War I, Oakley went to Geneva Switzerland and spent three years making portraits of the assembled delegates from across the globe, many of which were published in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and in her portfolio, "Law Triumphant" (1932). Later, in the years after WWII, she also attended the first meetings of the United Nations and again made portraits of the delegates. Many of these portraits are in Woodmere’s collection.
Originally a research associate at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Andrei A. Gromyko was appointed Ambassador to the US in 1943. In 1944 he helped conceive the UN at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in Washington, DC. He successfully urged that the major nations should have veto power, and after he became the first Soviet Permanent Representative to the UN in 1946, he used it -25 times before he left the post, in July 1948.
Gromyko served as Ambassador to Britain in 1952-53 and became Foreign Minister in 1957, a post he held for 28 years, during which he was the main Soviet negotiator with the US and a principal architect of Soviet policy. He served as president of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1988.
Through my opera glass at the meetings of the Security Council, I studied long and carefully the Representative from Russia, whenever he was present, which was not always however! I could see no variation of expression, and could but wonder what this unchanging countenance was guarding from me. Whenever he spoke, leaning forward, with eagerness and pouring forth a musical river of Russian words, his strong, broad face became very flexible, yet with still no change of expression that I could detect.
Perhaps it indicates unalterable conviction of the rightness of the advanced ideas of his own vast Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He refers to them as among the peace-loving peoples of the world.' Let us pray.
-Violet Oakley, 1946