- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Best known for his paintings, James McNeill Whistler also produced a multitude of prints, such as those in the exhibit currently at the Freer Gallery of Art, Whistler’s Greatest Etchings: The 1889 Amsterdam Set. Dutch art influenced Whistler as a young artist in Paris in the late 1850s, but it was only 40 years later that he could stay in Holland long enough to create a major set of prints. Critics consider the “Amsterdam Set” Whistler’s best, as he combined the detail and realism of earlier prints done in Paris and London between 1858 and 1861 with the looser, more expressionistic ones done in Venice from 1879 to 1880. At the Freer, 12th Street and Independence Avenue SW, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through Feb. 1. Free. 202/357-2700.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The next few weeks at the Mary Pickford Theater, the film repertory house of the Library of Congress, will be devoted to candidates for the Library’s National Film Registry program. The early talkie musical revue of 1929, The Show of Shows, gets a rare revival today at 7 p.m., offering rare glimpses at such vaudeville legends as Frank Fay and Ted Lewis. One of Fred Zinnemann’s most satisfying movies, The Sundowners, which co-starred Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum as Australian drovers, screens tomorrow at the same time. Released in 1960, this was the movie that should have won Miss Kerr a richly deserved Academy Award as best actress. Showings at the Pickford are free, but seating is limited to 64. Third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. 202/707-5677.

Silent film comedy gets the spotlight this weekend at the National Gallery of Art. Two of Ernst Lubitsch’s early German films, The Oyster Princess, and Romeo and Juliet In the Snow, share a double bill in the auditorium of the East Building on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. They were made in 1919 and 1920, respectively. A documentary compilation titled Slapstick: Lost and Found, recalling two-reel comedies of the silent era, will be shown at 3 p.m. On Sunday Lubitsch’s debunking historical spectacle of 1920, Anna Boleyn, screens at 4 p.m. in the East Building. Emil Jannings was cast as Henry VIII. All programs are free, but an early arrival is usually advisable. 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202/737-4215.

— Gary Arnold

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