Evalyn Walsh McLean
Evalyn Walsh McLean & the Hope Diamond
The beautiful portrait on the police call box of Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing the Hope Diamond and other jewels was painted by Philip Alexius de László (British, 1869-1937). He created more than one masterpiece of Mrs. McLean, including a painting of her with her two youngest sons at the Friendship Estate.
Evalyn Walsh McLean (1886-1947) was born in Leadville, Colorado to Thomas F. Walsh, an Irish immigrant miner- turned-multimillionaire and Carrie Bell Reed, a schoolteacher. She had one sibling – her brother Vinson. After her father struck gold in Colorado, the family moved to Washington, DC and lived at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue, NW (now the Embassy of Indonesia). In 1908 Evalyn married Edward Beale McLean (“Ned,” 1889-1941), the son of Emily Beale McLean and John Roll McLean, owner and publisher of The Washington Post and The Cincinnati Enquirer. Ned and Evalyn McLean had four children: Vinson, Edward, John, and Emily – who later changed her name to “Evalyn.” Evalyn and Ned were the last private owners of the Hope Diamond.
This oil portrait of Evalyn Walsh McLean with her two sons was painted by Philip Alexius de László at the Friendship Estate. It is located in Ouray, CO at the Ouray County Museum, which is near the Camp Bird Mine where Thomas F. Walsh – Evalyn’s father – made his fortune by striking gold.
If you look closely in the “Friendship Estate” call box painting, you will see that Evalyn and her son are wearing the clothes from the Ouray de László masterpiece.
Read more about the Ouray County Portrait in this article from the Plaindealer, 1972 : Ouray Museum Article – “Magnificient Gift for County Museum”
(Above: Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing the Hope Diamond. Photo: Library of Congress, no publishing restrictions)
(Above: Evalyn Walsh McLean in 1933 with her three youngest children: Evalyn Washington McLean, John R. McLean (standing left), and Edward B. McLean, Jr. (Harris & Ewing Photo))
(Below: Home movies by Evalyn Walsh McLean at the Friendship Estate. In the first, she is wearing the Hope Diamond. ) Videos courtesy of the Hope Diamond Collection, Inc., linked from YouTube