An Extraordinary Look into the Past

It was Bob Hope who asserted, “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things-not the great occasions-that in retrospect give off the greatest glowLooking Into the Past: Union Station Square, Washington, DC by jasonepowell. of happiness.”

Thus is true in Jason Powell’s work. A recent feature in the DCist, Powell gives us an extraordinary look into the nation’s past through his photography. Powell finds old photographs of popular and everyday spots around D.C. and contrasts them against the present day backdrop. Such places include Thomas Circle, Union Station Square, Jones Point, and the U.S. Capitol; yet Powell includes just as many small-town mainstreet photos as well.

The series has taken him to surrounding communities from Harper’s Ferry and Charlestown, WV, to Annapolis, MD and back to Leesburg, VA, his hometown.

These old photographs are obtained through the Library of Congress and the DC Public Library. The oldest of the photographs used in the series is of the U.S. Capitol under construction, from 1863.

Powell says his work is inspired by his “love of history,” and Michael Hughes’ Souveniers set.

For more information on the artist and his other works, please visit:


About Art(202)

Since 1968, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has developed and promoted local artists, organizations and activities.
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