Were they alive today, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith Bouvier Beale, would undoubtedly invite extended tabloid scrutiny. They had famous family connections (Jacqueline Kennedy was their niece and cousin, respectively), yearned for careers in the arts (both wanted to be singers and actresses), and lived like eccentrics (“pet” raccoons roamed their rundown mansion). TLC audiences and Us Weekly readers would have drooled over them. The Edies have inspired pop songs, Broadway musicals, an HBO film, and plenty of other tributes, but their sustaining legacy is Grey Gardens, the 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles that chronicled the titular mansion’s squalid conditions and its residents’ sequestration from the outside world. Though a few kind souls offered the Edies aid (Kennedy and her sister, Lee Radziwill, paid to stabilize the house; Washington society doyenne Sally Quinn eventually bought the property and refurbished it), the film tells a dark story of two women left to fend for themselves. The film screens at 1 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov.

More from WCP