Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mark Hatfield bust, OHSU

At one entrance to the main OHSU hospital building is this bust of Oregon's late Senator Mark Hatfield, who represented the state in Congress from 1967-1997. He was possibly one of the last decent and humane Republicans around, although I voted against him the one time he was on the ballot & I was old enough to vote, because he was still a Republican. As a senator with a great deal of seniority, he was also quite generous with those old-style earmarks, and OHSU was one of his favorite beneficiaries over the years, and a great many places and things around the campus are named in his honor. An old Portland Public Art post says this is one of at least two depictions of the august senator, and the frieze somewhere near the main lobby is a better likeness, but I don't know where that one is & have no photos of it, so this one will have to do.

I don't know who created this bust; it's bound to have been someone very well reputed, as Hatfield's wife owned an art gallery for many years, and knew absolutely everyone. I didn't see a signature on the front, and its shrine-like niche sort of discourages one from looking at the back of it for a signature, as if from that angle you'd discover he was a mostly-benevolent space alien the whole time, and then the guards would have to dispose of you. Possibly that's not exactly what would happen, but that's the general sense I got.

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