Portrait of Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, Supreme Court of Ohio
On December 2nd, 2011, in an official session of the Supreme Court of Ohio attended by over 400 judges and leaders from throughout Ohio and the country, the Ohio Judicial Center was renamed the Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, Ohio Judicial Center. At the time of his untimely death on April 2, 2010 at age 70, Chief Justice Moyer was the longest-serving chief justice in the country, and he was the second longest-serving chief justice in Ohio's history. During the session, the official portrait of Chief Justice Moyer was accepted by the Court and permanently installed in the Grand Concourse. Chief Justice Moyer joins U.S. Presidents and other great leaders from the history of Ohio who are forever memorialized in this space.
In honor of the renaming and portrait dedication ceremony, the Court published a book of the writings and speeches of Chief Justice Moyer. The following excerpt from a statement by the Artist about her portrait, inspired by the Chief’s own words, is included in the publication.
“Great judges share with the great artists a vision for the big picture, the entirety of society; the artist and the judge share a concern for life in its many forms, its successes and its failures.”
-Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer
“Inspired by this profound statement, my portrait humbly attempts to portray Thomas J. Moyer’s role in the history of our state and our nation… as a judge and as a man. It has been said that the role of a portrait artist is much like that of a biographer. Their work tells the story of an individual by creating a lasting record and a testament to their important role in history.
I offer to the court a work that portrays Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer within the setting of the building that is his legacy, this magnificently restored home to the Ohio Supreme Court. He stands, gazing directly and intently at the viewer. Ready to approach the bench, he greets us; his right hand positioned as if to reach out and shake our own. This civil gesture and expression of equality, so important to Chief Justice Moyer, is an invitation to enter the court and mutually search for truth and justice. In his left hand, which bears his wedding ring, he holds the Constitution of the United States. He often spoke, in speeches and in private conversation, of how our nation is held together by the confines and rule of law as symbolized by this written document. Here, then, he is portrayed with the symbols of his life and loves...the law and his commitment to his wife, Mary.
…While working alone in the courtroom, I often considered the historical significance of this portrait. My hope is that Chief Justice Moyer would have been proud of my efforts. Although I did not have the privilege of know him personally, I am humbled and grateful that we will be forever linked…an artist and a judge.”
This portrait is the Artist’s fourth portrait for the State of Ohio. Previous works include portraits of Governors Bob Taft and Ted Strickland.
Honorable Mention, Members Only Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2012