28 Oct 1929 – Roerich’s Shrine

On Manhattan’s socially outworn Riverside Drive, a skyscraper-Museum, dedicated to one man, was formally opened last week. The man was Professor Nicholas Constantinovich Roerich, famed Russian painter-writer-explorer-philosopher. The brick skyscraper, designed by Architect Harvey Wiley Corbett, uniquely graduated in tone from deep purple at the base to white at the top, symbolizes “growth,” houses more than 1,000 of Professor Roerich’s exotic paintings, is dedicated to international culture, world peace. Present at the dedication was the Professor himself and his two apple-cheeked sons. His audience wandered through the museum, marveled at the “Hall of the East” in which 100 ritual lights burned before a Tibetan shrine. The audience included turbaned Indians, grave Chinese, eager U. S. intellectuals, a brown woman with gems fastened in her nose, a plump white woman wearing a jingling Colombian Indian costume. Kermit Roosevelt dropped his eyes against curious stares. Natacha Rambova, white turbaned and weighted with gold invited the avid to her studio. Esoteric prattlers shook the Professor’s hands and looked for cheese wafers to nibble. There were no refreshments.
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