Thursday, January 14, 2010

“One Life: Echoes of Elvis” at the National Portrait Gallery

It's a bit hard for the average Washingtonian to get to Graceland, but now, that may not be our only way to get our Elvis fix.

Last Friday, The National Portrait Gallery opened “One Life: Echoes of Elvis,” an exhibit showcasing paintings, sculptures and photographs inspired by Elvis and his legacy. Opening day also happened to be what would have been the King of Rock and Roll's 75th birthday.

A variety of interesting -- and odd -- items are on display, including a larger than life golden bust of Elvis portrayed as Julius Caesar, several solemn photographs of Graceland and an Elvis child's doll.

Let's not forget The Book of "E," a scrapbook of newspaper clippings dating from the time immediately following Elvis' death. The collection was unearthed from an abandoned warehouse in Chicago, Illinois.

Also, an impressive number of book titles were included, most notably a cookbook which purports to contain the King's favorite recipes. You can bet there's one for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Despite the range of items on display, those expecting a celebration of all things Elvis may be disappointed. The collection is small and fills only one small room. This is hardly a shrine worth paying a monthly homage, but if you're in town and feeling "a little lonesome tonight," then by all means, stop on by.

The exhibit will be at the National Portrait Gallery until August 29th.
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