A recent article in the New York Times described the Obama's plans to decorate the White House in a way that reflects their aspirations and visions for the new presidency. Apparently every president does this sort of thing.
This got me to thinking about using the White House to honor the remarkable burst of American creativity that occurred during the 20th Century.
I'd love to see paintings by Mark Rothko and Chuck Close hung on the walls. A sculpture by Louise Nevelson would add heft to the grounds. And wouldn't furniture by Charles and Ray Eames look fabulous in the Oval Office?
And then I remembered Dorothea Lange, the photographer who produced some of the most moving documents of the Great Depression.
I hope that President Obama might consider mounting a display of Lange's work in the Oval Office. This would provide a daily reminder of the genuine suffering inflicted on millions of people by the greed and misdeeds of a very few.
May we never forget that people's suffering is not merely psychological, but arises also from a culture that celebrates material comfort above all else. We each have a role in this. May we never forget.