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Louise Rosskam isn’t the best-known photographer from the golden age of documentary photography. She wasn’t even the best-known photographer within her own marriage: She collaborated for years with her husband, Edwin. During her career, Rosskam didn’t make a big deal about divvying up credit for their work, but that changed near her death in 2003. The nature of collaboration—and the allocation of rightful credit—is one notable theme of “Laura Katzman’s Re-viewing Documentary: The Photographic Life of Louise Rosskam,” an exhibit at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. It’s also an eponymous volume, and the art history professor will discuss both tonight. Still, it’s important not to let questions of ownership obscure the images the Rosskams produced; they tirelessly chronicled the U.S. and Puerto Rico, mostly in black and white. The most striking, though, is a series of color photographs of Southwest D.C. before urban renewal, showing a now-lost neighborhood teeming with life.
Katzman discusses Louise Rosskam at 7:30 p.m. at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $10. (202) 777-3254.