TO JUNE 29

On June 5, 1968, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles. Three days later, following a funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Kennedy’s body was transported by train to Washington for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Paul Fusco—then a photographer for Look magazine—spent that day on the train, pointing his lens not toward Kennedy’s coffin but out at the Americans who had spontaneously lined the tracks to pay their final respects. Even if Fusco’s images were somehow stripped of their tragic raison d’etre, they would still stand as a brilliant artistic achievement. The photographs—mostly in a bold, horizontal format with saturated, moody colors—were never shown to the public until they were published in book form, in 2000, yet they form a remarkably coherent record of Americans, black and white, peering, waving, frowning, hoisting flags, and, every so often, smiling wistfully at the slow-moving train. Some images are crisp, some are distorted by the train’s movement, and some—especially as the sun begins to sink—simply recede into an ethereal fluidity. The exhibition at Hemphill Fine Arts includes 34 separate 16-inch-by-24-inch images—about two-thirds of the total in the book. Cleverly, Fusco and the gallery have organized the photographs so that they flow linearly around the walls in chronological order. The exhibition is on view from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, to Saturday, June 29, at Hemphill Fine Arts, 1027 33rd St. NW. Free. (202) 342-5610. (Louis Jacobson)

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