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TO DEC. 24
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A new gallery has opened on Kensington’s Antique Row, and there’s not a bit of quaint Victoriana within. To the contrary, Banning + Low specializes in political memorabilia, and if the gallery’s current show is any indication, its exhibitions will be much edgier than what’s on display elsewhere on the Howard Avenue strip. “Four Days in November” collects 38 Associated Press photos related to John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination, including versions of several now-iconic images: a radiant Jack and Jackie landing at Love Field in Dallas, the marked trajectory of the bullet fired at the presidential motorcade, the cops taking Lee Harvey Oswald on his perp walk (pictured), a final goodbye to the slain president from John-John and Caroline, a black-clad Jackie kneeling and kissing her husband’s casket. Befitting the needs of a rapid-fire wire service, the now-browning images are almost exclusively utilitarian in composition and production; the lone exception is an artsy image taken from high in the Capitol rotunda that pictures JFK’s flag-draped coffin lit by little streaks of sunlight. Following four decades of jawboning about the murder, perhaps the most notable thing about “Four Days in November” is how it documents the birth of the national-celebrity tragedy. The show may be composed of images that were hastily assembled, fuzzy, and primitive, yet years before the Challenger explosion and the deaths of Diana and JFK Jr., all the elements of modern celebrity bereavement are visiblefrom the mourning relatives to the shocked pedestrians to the gravesites overflowing with public offerings. The show is on view from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, to Wednesday, Dec. 24, at Banning + Low, 3730 Howard Ave., Kensington. Free. (301) 933-0700. (Louis Jacobson)