A number of artists contributed to the success of this project. In addition to the paintings of Evalyn Walsh McLean and the Friendship Estate, artistic contributions to transform our call boxes were made by Michael Knud Ross, who restored them; Frank Arkwright, who painted them royal blue and hand-gilded the gold leaf designs; little b design, who designed the brass backplates with the historical text for the call boxes; and Gelberg Signs, who fabricated and installed the artwork and backplates.
Evalyn Walsh McLean and the Hope Diamond
The above portrait of Evalyn Walsh McLean was painted by Philip Alexius de László (British, 1869-1937) in 1921. In the painting, Mrs. McLean is wearing the Hope Diamond and her other jewels. Mr. de Laszlo created more than one masterpiece of Mrs. McLean, including a painting of her and her two youngest sons at the Friendship Estate. It is believed that de Laslzo painted portraits of most or all members of royalty and the aristocracy of his time.
The oil on canvas portrait was photographed for our call box by John Schweikert.
(Above: Friendship Estate call box painting by Peter Waddell. Photo courtesy of Deena Gorland Photography.)