There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
These days, our phones aren’t just our phones: They’re our address books, notepads, and cameras. But in the days before we packed our pockets with portable computers, artists often carried tiny notebooks with them to record thoughts, phone numbers, and sketches whenever inspiration struck. These rare, private documents are rarely shown in public, but the chronic collectors at the Smithsonian have decided to share a few pages with curious viewers as part of a new exhibition. “Little Black Books: Address Books from the Archives of American Art” includes volumes from legendary artists like Lee Krasner, Joseph Cornell, and Jackson Pollock, among many others. Abstract expressionist Ad Reinhardt, best known for large, single-color canvases, also has a notebook featured in the show, and while it might not feature his plans for his red or blue paintings, it just might offer some insight into the mind of a complex, complicated man. The exhibition is on view daily 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., to Nov. 1, at the Lawrence A. Fleishman Gallery, 8th and F streets NW. Free. (202) 633-7940. aaa.si.edu.