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8

Saturday

William Wegman may well be Man’s Best Friend’s best friend. Over the course of his decades-long career, the venerated American photographer has dressed dogs up in gowns and caught them yawning for ubiquitous desk calendars, made artsy dog-centered shorts for Saturday Night Live, and had his own personal canine companion dubbed “Man of the Year” by the Village Voice. What’s less discussed, however, is the temperament of Wegman’s breed-of-choice, the Weimaraner: These distinctive silver-grey dogs’ desperate need for attention and manic-depressive nature offer a striking parallel to post-industrial man’s existential struggle for a place in the world and never-ending war with anomie. The average SNL viewer might not pick up on such heady themes, but the symbolism is readily apparent in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “William Wegman—Funney/Strange” retrospective. The exhibit, which also includes Wegman’s frightening cityscapes amongst other little-seen Weimaraner-free work, is on view from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Sunday, Sept. 24, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th & F Sts. NW. Free. (202) 275-1500. (Justin Moyer)