There is talent and genius in artist Mario Moore’s quotidian portrait series “The Work of Several Lifetimes” (On the Campus, Oct. 23), and though long overdue, the equalizing effort misses the whole error of portraiture in general. The genre has its place, of course, but where it lends itself to the worship of ego is where it misses the mark. Ego is no champion for all, but alone for itself, serving none other than itself. 

The single greatest act of our U.S. Congress would be to remove all statuary and portraiture from its chambers and corridors to a museum of history, replaced perhaps by landscapes reflecting the beauty of the continent. This could serve as a reminder that the nation was dedicated to and built upon beauty — the beauty of pure ideals, not imperfect personalities. We are a nation founded upon the beautiful ideas of liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.

Mario Moore’s thoughtful work is absolutely an important step in the right direction, but the journey remains far from over.

Editor’s note: The University is acquiring nine of the works by the artist in this series of portraits. 

Rocky Semmes ’79
Alexandria, Va.