Fred Maroon: Georgetown’s and the World’s Photographer
By September 16, 2021 0 568•
“The highest art of the camera lies in its ability to extend to all the vision of the gifted,” said photographer Fred J. Maroon, who lived in Georgetown for decades and roamed the world for all of us. Twenty years after his death in 2001, the legacy of his photographs maintain their power, truth and beauty.
Maroon was — and remains — well known throughout Washington and was a friend of The Georgetowner. He allowed the newspaper to use his spectacular images from time to time. The newspaper ran his photos, did features on him, especially a 1999 cover story, which was delayed because of John Kennedy, Jr.’s death. He let the newspaper run a cover photo of John and Caroline for that unexpected issue.
A graduate of Catholic University and its yearbook editor, Maroon began his photo career after getting a degree in architecture. The renowned Edward Steichen influenced his decision to become a photographer full-time. So, began Maroon’s trips to remote sites, dragging gear, assistants and models. With his golden eye and renaissance range of vision, the results were the photos he took in Afghanistan in the 1960s, when he also ventured to Mongolia and the Soviet Union.
Maroon’s work appeared in Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, Paris Match, Holiday, Esquire, Smithsonian and National Geographic. His books included “These United States,” “The Egypt Story,” “Keepers of the Sea,” “Maroon on Georgetown,” “The English Country House,” “Jean-Louis: Cooking With the Seasons,” “The United States Capitol” and “The Supreme Court of the United States.”
His images of Europe in the early 1950s, the U.S. Navy, scenes of America, monumental Washington and its politicians and personalities as well as the Nixon years are epic.
To his neighbors — Maroon lived on the 2700 block of P Street NW for years — he was the artist who captured that famous snowfall scene along Wisconsin Avenue in the late 1970s. In this issue, The Georgetowner displays his images of Afghanistan, 7,000 miles away, from a time that has long slipped away.
Photos by Fred Maroon will be on display at the George Town Club during Georgetown Art All Night, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24.