To the Editor:

I am saddened by the defacement of the artwork “Women of Purpose.” If you look at the write-ups of Robin Morris’ artwork, you will find the following quotes:

“These devoted women have extended their traditional roles into the larger sphere and pioneered institutions to care for the sick and destitute, the wounded and disabled, and championed a safety net for people with the greatest needs. Putting compassion and charity to work in the service of others can be an arduous and even dangerous task, but those who choose this route find their reward in the work.”

Also, “Robin Morris’ painting, “Women of Purpose” is part of the Great Minds series as a tribute to the legions of unacknowledged women whose greatness lies in an unselfish commitment to work for changes that transform lives.”

Why would anyone want to deface an artwork that is uplifting of women who have been transformational, especially during Women’s History Month? Also, who could do such a thing in front of teenagers? The woman who defaced this artwork showed young people that you can break the law and get away with it! Shame on her! I sense that the teenagers are a lot more mature than this scofflaw.

Mother Teresa has certainly transformed lives. I would argue that all of the women in this painting have transformed lives. I understand that some people do not like Margaret Sanger included in the same painting with Mother Teresa. But guess what? Robin Morris, the artist, was not alone in thinking they belonged in the same grouping.

I recently came across a special collector’s edition of People magazine titled “Unforgettable Women of the Century.” I am a manager of a church thrift store so I come across a lot of interesting and historical items. The publication states “Display until 10/26/98.” And guess who is included in this special edition? Yes, Mother Teresa, Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem and many more. Mother Teresa falls under the category in this edition as an “Icon” — “From the Back Lot to Camelot, these women became our role models.” Margaret Sanger fell into the category, “Movers & Shapers” — “Pioneers, Visionaries and Leaders, they rocked our world.” I wonder if the editors of this edition were reviled for including so many disparate women together? I wonder if this special edition was censored from libraries? I doubt it! This is People magazine for gosh sakes, the magazine for the people!

Let’s get a grip Trumbull! I encourage our Trumbull residents to embrace a collection such as The Great Minds Collection displayed at the library. I support continuing this exhibit until its anticipated end. I support our professional librarian Sue Horton and the very competent Library Board. Let’s encourage civil discourse and dialogue about those individuals included in this exhibit. Let’s make this a possibility for future exhibits. Let’s not be provincial Trumbull. Let’s be a Trumbull that can arise above that.

Marilyn Lord