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Avedon's Power Portraits of Reagan, Rove, Obama and Others Share Spotlight at Corcoran Gallery
source: AP/Corcoran

Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State, Washington, D.C., June 2, 1976. Photograph Richard Avedon. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; this acquisition was made possible by generous contributions from Jeane W. Austin and the James Smithson Society. 2008 The Richard Avedon Foundation.

Raskin was photographed late at night during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Avedon had read his book "Overruling Democracy" on the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore decision that settled the 2000 election.

"Tell me more about the Supreme Court's decision," Avedon said as he snapped pictures of Raskin.

"He definitely sensed my fury," Raskin said, "He wanted to take a picture of what I felt like."

Raskin's portrait is the final image in the exhibit. It shows the professor holding books in one arm and gesturing to the camera as he spoke with Avedon.

The picture proved valuable when Raskin was deciding whether to run for state senate in Maryland. He was questioning whether he was up for the negative campaign tactics that prevail in modern politics.

"I wondered if I was tough enough," Raskin said. "Several people reminded me of that picture and said, 'You have a tough side to you.'"

In his first bid for public office in 2006, Raskin unseated a 32-year incumbent and continues to serve in the Maryland senate.

The Avedon exhibit will be on view in Washington through the presidential inauguration in January. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors or members of the military and $10 for students. The show will travel to several cities, including a stop at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and others to be announced later.

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