A portrait of former Mayor A C Wharton was unveiled today at City Hall, joining the 62 mayoral portraits in the Hall of Mayors.
City officials, judges, past mayors, and members of the community joined Wharton and his family members to celebrate his “public hanging” and all that he’s accomplished during his time as a public servant.
Wharton, described as skilled and honest, was deemed a friend and a mentor, who is committed to the growth of others. His attentiveness and dedication to the community was the motif of the afternoon.
“A picture is more than just the physical aspects,” Andre Wharton, one of A C Wharton’s three sons said. “It’s about all that went into it and this is just the pinnacle of his service career.”
Wharton's portrait, which resides on the north side of the hall adjacent to his predecessor, former Mayor Willie Herenton, will be only the second of an African American in the Hall of Mayors.
The artist, Larry Walker, says Wharton’s portrait, which features the past mayor posed on the Main St. Mall in front of both Memphis City Hall and the Vasco A. Smith Jr. County Building, reflecting his tenure as Memphis mayor (2009-2015) and as Shelby County mayor (2002-2009), is unlike any of the other portraits in the room.
However, Wharton says he would like to be remembered not by what's hanging on the wall, but what strides he made as a public servant.