There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Photographer Fred J. Maroon was best known for chronicling his adopted hometown of Washington—and particularly for the insider access that enabled him to produce, at a quarter-century’s distance in 1999, a Smithsonian exhibition and book that documented the Nixon White House’s Watergate crackup. But “Sorrow and Splendor: Images of Europe, 1950-1951” carries viewers to a much different time and place—a Europe only recently recovered from the furies of war, seen by Maroon, then in his mid-20s. It’s a project Maroon was working on when he died in 2001, now brought to completion by his widow, Suzy Maroon. Many of the exhibition’s 35 black-and-white images mirror the sort of urban street photojournalism that had been standard since the ’20s. But when Maroon gets more abstract—as in his moody, fog-filled photographs of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, or his shot of Paris’ headlamp-lit Place de la Concorde at dusk—his work rises to the level of art. The exhibition is on view to Wednesday, Oct. 2, including today from noon to 5 p.m. at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery, 1609 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 328-0955. (Louis Jacobson)