- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two new exhibitions at the Corcoran reveal the museum’s continuing struggle to present its wide-ranging holdings with a cohesive message. The European Landscape, the more coherent of the two, is devoted to 56 European, mostly French, landscapes. It runs through Feb. 10. Downstairs, Treasures of European Decorative Art and Sculpture, running through 2008, showcases the applied arts alongside painting and sculpture in a broad but uneven display of ancient Greek pottery, Renaissance ceramics, 19th-century French sculpture and antique Islamic rugs. Most of the works in both shows represent a generous gift made in 1926 by Montana Sen. William A. Clark (1839-1925), whose bequest established the Corcoran as the capital’s premier repository of European treasures until the National Gallery of Art opened in 1941. No single masterwork in either stands out as a must-see, but both exhibits offer impressive examples from a given period. 500 17th St. NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday-Sunday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. $6. 202/639-1700.

Deborah K. Dietsch

The most impressive and stirring movie of the year so far, In the Shadow of the Moon, chronicles the Apollo moon missions through archival NASA footage and the testimony of nine surviving lunar astronauts. The images of the flights seem a revelation even if you followed the space program avidly a generation ago, The reflections of the astronauts — Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan, Alan Bean and Charles Duke are the most conspicuous veterans — achieve a genial eloquence that helps to compensate for the small-minded and malicious tenor of contemporary American politics. It’s gratifying to know that events conspired to create heroic opportunities for such men. The only way to improve on this historical treasure would be to encounter an augmented DVD edition for the holidays. Exclusively at the American Film Institute Silver Theater, the Cinema Arts in Fairfax and the Landover Bethesda Row and E Street Cinema.

Gary Arnold

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