John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Ten random things: July 12 and 13

Twenty people whose portraits are on display in the National Portrait Gallery:

1. Denyce Graves, opera singer
2. Varina Howell Davis, author and First Lady of the Confederate States of America
3. Harriet Tubman, abolitionist
4. John C. Frémont, military officer and candidate for President
5. Loïe Fuller, dancer
6. Andy Warhol, artist
7. Meriwether Lewis, explorer
8. Robert "King" Carter, colonist
9, 10,
and 11.
Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and David Letterman, talk show hosts
12. George Washington, President of the United States
13. George H. W. Bush, President of the United States
14. Andres Serrano, photographer
15. William Beckman, painter
16. Robert E. Lee, general in the Army of Northern Virginia
17. Booker T. Washington, educator and author
18. Belva Lockwood, feminist activist
19. Noah Webster, lexicographer
20. John Summerfield, evangelist

I had the day off from work today, so I went downtown to visit the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery. I didn't ave as much time to spend there as I had hoped, but I made a thorough survey of the first floor and a quick swing through the Presidential Gallery on the second. (Had to go see my man James K. Polk, you know.)

I listed Leno, O'Brien, and Letterman together because they are all part of a remarkable video installation. The artist, Jason Salavon, recorded sixty-four nights of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Late Show with David Letterman, and superimposed the monologues, keeping them separate by show. (That is, Leno was superimposed on Leno, O'Brien on O'Brien, Letterman on Letterman.) The fascinating thing about it is that all three men are instantly recognizable despite their images being blurred to the point of abstraction. Follow the link above to see stills a short clip from the presentation.


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