At the corner of 15th Street and Sage Avenue, there is an esteemed art museum that many students know—falsely, I might add—in another capacity. This museum contains only one important painting among a sea of worthless work, an image of the Rensselaer Union’s Lord almighty, Prince of Peace, Protector of Students, retired Director of the Union, Rick Hartt. The impression of Hartt comes with significant emotional baggage for many who see it, and it sends them on a literal trip down memory lane to the glory days of the Union.
The painting is best observed at a distance, due to its size and the size of the legacy Hartt has left on the Union. Observed too closely, one only sees splotches of paint and cannot make out the details. As you step back, you begin to see a man who has captured the respect of everyone he has interacted with in his years at RPI. The calm confident pose, so effortlessly captured by the artist, gives the viewer a sense that he was one of the few people to be able to bridge the large gap between the administration and the student body. It is the look of a man who was able to master the politics of both running the Union and making sure that students always had a voice in the affairs of their very own alma mater.
I would also like to remark that, while in the process of looking at the painting, it has undergone some security upgrades. Unfortunately, this painting was recently victimized (yes this masterpiece is so awe-inspiring that personification is the only way to do it justice) by a thief who could not have gone to RPI, for he would otherwise recognize the error of his ways. The museum’s private security force (who inexplicably reports directly to President Obama himself) would like any leads towards finding the cultureless Neanderthals responsible for the temporary theft of this great work of art.
Finally, this review ends with the reporting of some unsubstantiated rumors that a painting of another person might be on the way. The subject of this new painting may or may not have a corner office in Union 3710. Either way, I would like to comment that the addition of another painting would have to be done such that in deference to the visage of Hartt is maintained. To do otherwise would the reputation of our great museum on 15th and Sage, permanently.