The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Vet­eran jour nal­ists L eonard Downie Jr., and Sally Quinn, were among Wash­ing­ton VIPs at­tend­ing the Sept. 9 open­ing re­cep­tion at the Cor­co­ran Gallery of Art of “Richard Avedon: Por­traits of Power.”

Con­sid­ered the coun­try’s pre­em­i­nent por­traitist, the now-de­ceased Mr. Avedon spent his ca­reer pho­tograph­ing the faces of pol­i­tics, sev­eral now ex­hib­ited for the first time: about 250 pho­to­graphs, snapped by the artist from the 1950s un­til his death in 2004.

One of his last por traits, which es­pe­cially wowed the Cor­co­ran crowd, is of an ob­vi­ously younger-looking Barack Obama fol­low­ing his key­note ad­dress at the 2004 Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion. The pho­tog­ra­pher seemed to pos­sess a knack for pulling ris­ing stars from the deep pools of or­di­nary politi­cians, in­clud­ing a hand­some new­comer named Jimmy Carter.

And yes, that is for­mer De­fense Sec­re­tar y Don­ald H. Rums­feld proudly sport­ing his large 1970s-era eye­glasses and frames, which lit­er­ally en­com­pass half of his youth­ful face.

Hats off to Paul Roth, the Cor­co­ran’s cu­ra­tor of photography and me­dia arts, for or­ga­niz­ing the un­prece­dented exhibit, which can best be de­scribed as a walk through Amer­i­can his­tory. Por­traits of Power runs through Jan. 25, 2009.

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