Page 2 of 4   <       >

Man about town: Jake McGuire and his D.C. photos appear to be everywhere at once

Jake McGuire and his Washington photos appear to be everywhere at once.

But the art is often by Jake McGuire.

McGuire is tall, thin, graying at the temples, dressed in a navy blazer, looking like he should be holding a mint julep, or yachting, or doing something else genteel. His face is aristocratic, if that's a word people still use; his manner is intense. He mostly wears bow ties, brightly colored ones. He often makes observations like this.

His art, however, is less flamboyant.

"U.S. Capitol With Flag." That's a popular McGuire photograph. It depicts an American flag in front of the Capitol.

Here it is in the understated beige lobby of Policy Impact, a lobbying firm on K Street.

Here it is again, at defense technology firm Raytheon in Bethesda.

Here it is, in black and white, at the American Continental Group near Dupont Circle.

McGuire says he has photos hanging in the offices of the National Park Service, the American Hospital Association and the Washington offices of Anheuser-Busch and General Mills. He runs a companion business selling photographs to be used as donor gifts, which "come in a variety of sizes and formats to fit your every donor level," according to his site.

When the American Continental Group was constructing its office space, "our architecture firm told us, 'You should get an art consultant,' " says David Urban, a managing partner of ACG and the former chief of staff for Arlen Specter. "I said, 'I don't need to spend all this money to tell me what I want.' " He knew he wanted Jake McGuire.

"We have many of our events in conference rooms," says Emily Bardach, the executive director of Women in Government Relations. "And I see [his photographs] everywhere."

Says Shannon Aimone, the manager of political programs at Home Depot, "He's a staple in the PAC world."

The all-caps capital

What McGuire is selling are photographs, but what he is really selling is Washington. Or rather, WASHINGTON, the stately postcard version. What he is selling, to government types and congressmen, is the appearance of ultimate Beltway insiderness to out-of-town visitors or the folks back home in Nebraska:

<       2           >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company