Nov. 18 – 20 – the water-color jury –
A grueling job – 10000 pictures – from which we selected 900 – 300 for hospital, and 600 for exhibition & sale.
One of the interesting things about serving on a jury — one of the compensations — is meeting artists whose work you have known a long time — (They never are “like”)
I had expected Marin to be tall, bony & vigorous and perhaps something of a poseur – I was wrong on every count except his head, which was very like [Gaston Lachaise’s] bronze of him – But otherwise, I would scarcely have recognized him as Marin of the water-colors I knew – Thin, slightly built, with something of a stoop, and very shy. Dominating his whole physical being were his black piercing eyes, that seemed to peer out at one from a “cave” of deep eye-sockets, with his unkempt strangling hair above – Before the session was over, I had grown to like him very much, more – there was a quality about him that could only be described as lovable – I was drawn to him very strongly (and Mrs. Phillips told me he too, liked me) —
…O’Hara had the jury to lunch on Wednesday — at a seafood place down on the Potomac River. Afterwards, we found the street we had to cross very busy with endless traffic. O’Hara & Ulrich sped across safely, but I could see Marin was afraid to go. So I stayed with him, for I felt responsible somehow – I was afraid he might get himself killed, so I held his arm (he seemed at any moment about to make a blind dash for it — at precisely the wrong time). I was relieved when we were safely across.
[November 1940: Charles Burchfield served on a jury with John Marin and Eliot O’Hara for the water-color competition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC for the Carville (La.) Marine Hospital]
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, November 18-20, 1940