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Published: October 31, 2016
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Acclaimed Photographers Chris Earnshaw and Joseph Mills to Introduce Work at Press Preview 11/18

DISTRICT II. © Joseph Mills
© Joseph Mills

WASHINGTON, D.C.Bill Barrett, Chris Earnshaw, and Joseph Mills—three premier chroniclers of mid- to late-20th-century Washington—examine the streets of downtown D.C. in DISTRICT II. The exhibition of photographs of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, presented by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. at the National Building Museum, will open to the public on Saturday November 19, 2016.

The visual survey explores several decades of architectural and social change in the heart of the Nation’s Capital. The show builds on the enthusiastic public response to DISTRICT Chris Earnshaw, a solo gallery show of citywide work presented by the Historical Society at the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square in early 2016. DISTRICT II narrows the geography of the previous show to Earnshaw’s photos of downtown, adding context from views by the accomplished Barrett and Mills. Accompanying the scenes are historical notes on the development, destruction, reuse, and adaptation of buildings and public spaces in downtown.

“We are pleased to partner with our colleagues at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., on this unique exhibition so strongly aligned with our mission,” said Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum. “DISTRICT II reveals how buildings and neighborhoods—in this case, our own local neighborhood—shape and are shaped by the lives of their residents.”

The show is organized into three sections. Mt. Vernon Squared presents 14 photographs taken in the 1960s by Wm. Edmund Barrett, Jr., part of the Historical Society’s Kiplinger Washington Collection. They document streets radiating from Mt. Vernon Square. Billy Luck’s Downtown, approximately 50 drugstore prints and more than 10 enlarged sepia reprints by self-described Cowboy Poet Chris Earnshaw, show Downtown and Mt. Vernon Square in the 1960s through 1980s. Inner City, photograph installations by Joseph Mills, presents 16 mounted and varnished photographs exploring unvarnished, 1980s street life, from F Street shoppers to the downtrodden and despairing.

"Presenting this exhibition with the National Building Museum is a wonderful opportunity, and we're grateful to Chase Rynd and the entire exhibitions team for collaborating with the Historical Society," said John Suau, executive director. "This partnership will bring DISTRICT II to an even wider audience interested in the evolution of the built environment, with the spotlight on downtown D.C."

The exhibition is located at the National Building Museum, located at 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC (Metro: Red Line to Judiciary Square). The Museum is open to the public seven days a week. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 am–5 pm, and Sunday, 11 am–5 pm.

Entry to the exhibition is included in the Museum’s admission tickets:
FREE: Museum and Historical Society members; children aged 2 and under
$10: General adults
$7: General youth (ages 3-17); students with ID; seniors (age 60 and over)

Chris Earnshaw and Joseph Mills will be available for interviews at the press preview of DISTRICT II on Friday, November 18 from 10 am to Noon. To RSVP contact Emma Filar at efilar@nbm.org.

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a community‐supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation's capital. Founded in 1894, the Historical Society serves a diverse audience through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications. The Historical Society’s galleries and research library are located in the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square, 801 K Street NW. The Historical Society offers exhibitions and programs throughout the year encouraging the collection of local history as well as the documentation of contemporary D.C. To support exhibitions and related programming at the Historical Society and to learn more visit dchistory.org.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org. Connect with us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook.

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