After listening to a rousing one-hour presentation at City Hall devoted to the arts in Portland, Mayor Sam Adams this morning turned his attention to one troubling piece of public art in the city: the photo of former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt that still hangs in the entryway to the mayor's office.
While Portland's mayor from 1973 to 1979, Goldschmidt sexually abused a minor named Elizabeth Dunham. Dunham died in January at the age of 49, and two ex-lawmakers asked Oregon legislators after her death to remove Goldschmidt's gubernatorial portrait from the Capitol. A decision to honor that request came Monday.
On Tuesday, KPAM's Bob Miller asked Adams whether the mayor would consider removing Goldschmidt's picture from City Hall, where it hangs among dozens of other portraits of former Portland mayors. Adams demurred.
But today, Adams told WW he was "going to review the matter" when he has time. "I want to talk to some people," including the city archivist, he said Wednesday. "I will focus on it at some point."
In 2009, after WW revealed Adams had had a sexual relationship with a teenager when the mayor was a city commissioner, The New York Times covered the controversy and noted that, at the time, Goldschmidt's photo in City Hall was partially hidden. "In the wall of photographs in Mr. Adams’s office showing former mayors,
the photograph of Mr. Goldschmidt is the only one obscured, by a table
lamp," the newspaper reported.