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Albert Bierstadt
Mount Corcoran
in “Encouraging American Genius”
Corcoran Gallery of Art
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by Sidney Lawrence

Washington exhibitions are varied and plentiful this fall, embracing art from elsewhere and past times as always, but there’s also a strong local focus. Are we finally waking up to ourselves?

It all started at a steamy mid-August opening at Flashpoint’s downtown gallery on G Street, where revelers became increasingly boisterous gazing at Mary Swift’s art-world portrait photos from the 1970s and ‘80s. No wonder -- many of the viewers were looking at pictures of their own younger selves. Swift, the no-B.S. founding editor and chief photographer of the now defunct Washington Review (1975-2001), perfectly captured the manic small-town charm of D.C. art’s mutton-chop era.