It's a great show for a family event over the holidays, and it's free.
Helen Levitt, New York, c. 1942, printed later, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, copyright 1981, Helen Levitt
At the exhibition's opening, Ms. Foresta briefly described the history of photography in the U.S. which early critics believed "was positioned to do miraculous things," and it did. Ten years later people lined up to get their pictures made, so thrilled and amazed were they by the medium.
The creators designed many of the works for framing, to be hung as pieces of art in the home.
Guests to the show will recognize familiar photographs and see some new ones. Some of the photographers are familiar (Sally Mann, Annie Liebovitz, Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Ansel Adams) while others are not. Some of the picture takers are anonymous like these from the San Francisco Police Department:
What: A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Now through Sunday, January 5, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. every day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets, N. W. , First Floor, West
How much: No charge
For more information: 202-633-1000
Metro station: Gallery Place-Chinatown or walk 10 minutes from Metro Center