November 19, 2016–February 12, 2017

This poetic visual essay explores the changing streetscape of downtown Washington in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s through the urban street photography of Bill Barrett, Chris Earnshaw, and Joseph Mills. The works both reflect and confront each other, providing a sense of the physical and social upheavals experienced by the city in those decades. The exhibition is comprised of three sections:

Mt. Vernon Squared

Fourteen striking photographs taken in the 1960s by William Edmund Barrett, Jr., document the streets radiating from Mt. Vernon Square. The images are part of the Historical Society’s Kiplinger Washington Collection.

Billy Luck’s Downtown

Some 50 “drugstore” prints and a dozen enlarged, sepia reprints by self-described Cowboy Poet Chris Earnshaw capture the facades and faces of the downtown core over a 25-year period.

Inner City

Nearly 20 hand-varnished photographs by Joseph Mills present unvarnished 1980s street life from 9-to-5ers and F-Street-shoppers to the downtrodden.

In the words of photographer Chris Earnshaw

In January 2016, The Washington Post joined Chris Earnshaw for his gallery show debut at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

DISTRICT II is organized by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and is presented in partnership with the National Building Museum. The exhibition is made possible through generous support from Events DC and the Newseum.