In an iconic photograph by J. Parker Lamb, a Gulf, Mobile & Ohio fireman enjoys a cool breeze as his freight train heads north behind Alco FAs at Marion, Mississippi, in July 1958. Lamb will share a retrospective of his work at Conversations about Photography on Sunday, April 12, 2015.
Reserve your spot for the Center’s annual conference, Conversations about Photography, April 10-12 on the campus of Lake Forest College, 30 miles north of Chicago. Headliners include J. Parker Lamb, Ted Benson, Dale Sanders, and Axel Zwingenberger. Peter Mosse will share selections from his extensive art collection, one of the largest private collections of railroad paintings in country. James Swensen, a BYU professor, will look at the railroad photography of Russell Lee. See the full line-up and purchase tickets on the conference page. Last year’s conference sold-out, so make your reservations now.
Scholarships, funded by conference patrons, are available for young and/or emerging photographers and other visual artists. The deadline for applications is February 1; recipients will be announced by February 13.
Eric Williams, of Millburn, New Jersey, has won first prize in the Center’s 2014 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program, for a stunning night view of the Chicago elevated. Matthew Malkiewicz, Mount Laurel, New Jersey, received second place for a holiday card-like photograph of a steam train in the snow; third went to Dennis Livesey, New York City, for three images representing the fascination of the city. Nineteen additional photographs were recognized in the “Judges Also Liked” category. The theme was “Lasting Impressions.” See all of the selected photographs and read the judges’ comments on the awards pages.
In the cover photograph for the Fall 2014 issue of Railroad Heritage
, six locomotives lead New York, Susquehanna & Western train BH-1 through Whitney Point, New York, on the way to Syracuse at sunrise on October 12, 2013. Photograph by Amanda Oakes.
The fall issue of Railroad Heritage is now available for purchase through our online book store. Examining the future of railroad photography, writer David Lester answers the question of whether the younger generation is losing interest in railroad photography with, “Not a chance.” Lester interviews six photographers ranging in age from 18 to 30 in his cover feature, which assesses their interests and priorities, and displays the great passion they bring to the field. Incidentally, the cover photograph by Amanda Oakes is only the second time the work of a woman photographer has been featured on the cover of Railroad Heritage. Shirley Burman was the first. In conjunction with the 2014 annual meeting of the Lexington Group in Transportation History in St. Louis, there is an eight-page gallery of St. Louis railroad photographs by Center member Dick Neumiller, highlighting the Gateway City’s colorful railroads and especially its pre-Amtrak passenger trains. Three short features round out the issue. As part of our ongoing coverage of railroads and World War II in conjunction with our Railroaders exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, Center editorial consultant Jack Holzhueter shares his reflections on the patriotic imagery found in wartime dining car menus, which come from the collection of member John Kelly. Artist Elaine Wilson describes her project Charting the Wolverine of watercolors and maps highlighting Amtrak’s route across Michigan. Finally, as a follow-up to the spring issue profile on photographer Blair Kooistra, one of his former traveling and photography companions, Scott Bontz, shares his memories and photographs of their time together. Bontz has been never considered himself a railfan, and he brings an interesting perspective of an “outsider” to the pursuit of railroad photography.
The Center’s journal, Railroad Heritage®, and other publications fill a unique niche: using photographs and art to inform the public and rail enthusiasts alike about the influence of railroads on economic growth and development, popular culture, and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who built and maintain North America’s railroads. Excellent images and highly researched and thoughtful writing characterize our publications. We launched Railroad Heritage in 2000 and now publish four issues annually, which our members receive for free as a benefit of membership. You can purchase previous issues here or by printing and mailing the order form (pdf).
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200-page, hardbound, 11- by 11.5-inch book published by the Center. Printed in the US, it features 108 photographs, including seventy-three of Jack Delano’s 1942–1943 views of Chicagoland railroads and their workers, reproduced in full color with rich quadtones for the black-and-whites. Contempoary photographs by Jack’s son, Pablo Delano, and the Center’s John Gruber and Scott Lothes complement the catalog. There are essays by Pablo Delano, Gruber, and University of Texas professor Jeremi Suri, a leading public historian. Biographical essays prepared by Center editorial consultant Jack Holzhueter as well as Gruber and Lothes tell the life stories of the forty-nine railroaders.
$60, $50 for members of the Center, $5 s/h, 200 pages, hardbound, color and b/w