It is a puzzling but pleasing paradox that Don Michael Randel ’62 *67’s criticism of Professor Peter Singer (Inbox, April 8) is clearly but the same song sung by Professor Singer but in a different key — they each represent the same school, figuratively and literally.
Singer posits that no “museum should purchase a $100 million work of art when that money could restore sight to 2 million people by funding their cataract surgery” (Life of the Mind, March 4). In turn, Randel supports museum spending in appreciation of “the beauty in art and nature” and the creation of “beautiful things.” Each, respectively, is supporting beauty and what is beautiful. Singer endorses the beauty of charity. Randel endorses the beauty of fine art.
These two good people are endorsing the same theme, but from varied points of view. The theme is beauty. Each echoes the wisdom of the English Romantic poet John Keats, who blessed us all with the recognition that “beauty is truth, truth beauty — that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Amen.