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Beginning with her work documenting D.C. during World War II and continuing through her coverage of the Miss America pageant and life in the mid-20th century, photographer Esther Bubley succinctly captured pieces of American culture that few others thought important. None of her images are as iconic as Dorothea Lange’s Dustbowl families or Mathew Brady’s Civil War battlefields, but her ability to focus on narrower vignettes of life—children sitting in a Nebraska schoolroom or a G.I. standing on a D.C. street—allows viewers to get to know the people in her photos. Now, the National Museum of Women in the Arts celebrates Bubley’s work with a new showcase that includes pieces from her time spent covering oil boom towns in Texas and farm life in the Midwest. Beyond just serving as historical markers, though, Bubley’s photos possess a bit of irony, as if she anticipated the social changes that would sweep through the nation as she documented it, making this exhibition more thought-provoking than just another old photo show. The exhibition is on view Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. to Jan. 17 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. $8–$10. (202) 783-5000. nmwa.org.