Many people have heard of Mary Martin, but few know that she was an avid embroiderer behind set. I was sent a book of her work by Jeremiah Goodman last year and was amazed by her needlepoint portraits. The first is a depiction of Joshua Logan, director of South Pacific , and his wife, Nancy, on the telephone. The second is Oscar Hammerstein writing the lyrics for the song "I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy," and the third is Richard Rodgers writing "Bali Ha'i." In the book she states:
"The first three South Pacific pillows are my own way of doing portraits. I never have been able to do faces well in needlepoint, nor even when I paint, but I can do hands, which are especially meaningful to me. And so, the beige and white, brown and black portrait of Dick Rodgers is really his hands as he wrote down the notes of "Bali Ha'i"
This is Mary on a freighter trip to Brazil. The caption reads, "Sun, sea, air, and needlepoint - I can't imagine a better way to travel."