Kathleen Ewing Shutters D.C. Photo Gallery

After mounting a farewell exhibition of vintage 19th- and 20th-century photographic “Treasures from the Attic,” Kathleen Ewing has shuttered the famed Washington, D.C. photography gallery that she opened in 1978, when few could fathom the day when photographs would command five- and six-figure sums. Having given an early boost to contemporary photographers including Stephen Shore and Claudia Smigrod, Ewing also maintained an inventory of vintage photographs and was known for her low-key yet high-minded approach. “You’d see a Julia Margaret Cameron gravure next to an August Sander next to Frank DiPerna next to pictures of dogs,” recalled photographer Colby Caldwell in The Washington Post. “She had no hierarchy in how she organized her photographs. You decided that you liked the picture as a picture, not because it was by someone famous.”
While her gallery is history, 61-year-old Ewing, who served as executive director of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (an organization she helped to found) from 1991 to 2007, is not leaving the market she helped to build. She will continue to work in private practice from her D.C. townhouse—and probably in the online ether as well. “The nature of the gallery business has changed,” Ewing told the Post. “It never occurred to me that people would buy something they’ve never held in their hand. But they do.”