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TO JULY 29
The latest Corcoran bone-toss goes to the White House News Photographers’ Association, which, for the second time, holds its annual awards show at the museum. In a “Message From the WHNPA President,” Susan Walsh writes, “Our membership compromises the best visual communicators in the world.” Well, I don’t know quite what to make of that, but if she means that once again the Museum That Shame Forgot is pushing aside its scant remaining commitment to cutting-edge art so it can pander to the ossified tastes of official Washington, I’d say that’s just about right. The current banner show is “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years”; next month, it’ll be joined by the Kennedy pix of Look photographer Stanley Tretick. Meanwhile, “The Eyes of History” are turned on Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-someplace where people can’t count), found prepping for the imminent postmortem by New York Times photographer Stephen Crowley, and on Rep. Gary Condit (D-not anymore), goaded into a chopsocky stance by the Associated Press’ Stephen J. Boitano. What is altogether too bad, though, is that since Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque’s A Bird in the Bush (pictured) didn’t make the top three in its category, you have to flip through the catalog to find out exactly what it takes to win a poultry-class presidential pardon these days. Maybe the museum is just holding its breath until it gets Gehryfied, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to a future in which Corcoran Director David Levy simply has more rooms to pimp out. “The Eyes of History” is on view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, to Monday, July 29, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $10-$14. (202) 639-1700. (Glenn Dixon)