Occupying one of the main galleries at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arts and Industries Building, this major exhibition premiered 150 fine prints from Kennerly’s book Photo du Jour: A Picture-a-Day Journey through the First Year of the New Millennium (University of Texas Press, 2002). This exhibition, developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Behring Center, in collaboration with the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, was curated by Michelle Delaney. It traveled throughout the U.S. in 2003 – 2005 after closing at the Smithsonian.
The exhibit showcased Kennerly‘s personal visual diary of the year 2000 as he traveled the country and the world on various photo assignments. It was divided into thematic sections; rare photos from the 2000 U.S. Presidential campaigns, people, landscapes and nature, cityscapes and architectural structures, events, landmarks, and personal Kennerly family photos.
“I always felt that I missed something along the way,” Kennerly commented about his drive to create the images for this book. “For more than 35 years I photographed some of the most gripping events of my generation, and was on the scene for the ‘big picture’ dozens of times . . . Towards the end of 1999, as I looked forward to covering my eighth presidential campaign, I had the uneasy feeling that I couldn’t spend all my time focusing on the story and bypassing the texture of life that surrounds it . . . This time, I wouldn’t speed across that covered bridge to get to the big event on the other side, but instead I would slow down a bit, maybe even pause to take a picture of the bridge. It was a simple concept. One camera. One lens. One year. Photo du Jour.”