Events

Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Register Here

Kevin Keefe and Scott Lothes, co-writers and editors of the publication Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography (Indiana University Press, 2018) come together to celebrate the life and work of a man who devoted a fifty-year career to the railroad photography community. Keefe and Lothes will present highlights from the book, which drew from Abbey’s collection of 25,000 black-and-white negatives held by the Center.
 
The presentation will chart Abbey’s career documenting the railroad industry. Beginning in the 1940s, Abbey masterfully combined journalistic and artistic vision to transform everyday moments in transportation into magical photographs. A photographer, journalist, historian, and railroad industry executive, he helped people from many different backgrounds understand and appreciate what was often taken for granted: a world of locomotives, passenger trains, big-city terminals, small-town depots, and railroaders. During his lifetime he witnessed and photographed sweeping changes in the railroad industry from the steam era to the era of diesel locomotives and electronic communication.

On a rainy summer day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1952, two boys watch as the Chicago & North Western’s westbound Twin Cities 400 makes its stop at the city’s lakefront depot, near the shore of Lake Michigan. Abbey-03-049-002.


The Railroad and the Art of Place, David Kahler

Tuesday, November 17, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

In the late 1980s, David Kahler was deeply inspired by seeing an exhibition of O. Winston Link photographs. He soon began making annual trips to the West Virginia and eastern Kentucky coalfields, destinations that strongly resonated with his own aesthetic of “place.” Armed with a used Leica M6 and gritty Tri-X film, he and his wife made six week-long trips in the dead of winter to photograph trains along the Pocahontas Division of the Norfolk Southern Railway. A selection of photographs from that body of work form the core of this presentation.

David Kahler, FAIA, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University and a Masters of Arts degree in Architecture from Princeton University. He had a private architectural practice based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for thirty-six years, raised four children, and was the President of the Milwaukee Art Museum from 1974 to ’76. Kahler presently serves as a board member for the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.

Yard Complex, Kenova, West Virginia, February 1992. Photograph by David Kahler.

Conversations about Ted Rose

Thursday, October 29, 2020
7:30-8:30 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex Events

Now Available on YouTube

Join the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and the Colorado Railroad Museum as we immerse ourselves in a discussion focusing on the photography and art of Ted Rose. 

This virtual program is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibit from the Center, Railroads and the American Industrial Landscape: Ted Rose Paintings and Photographs, which runs now through December 31st.

Presentations by Paul Hammond, Executive Director of the Colorado Railroad Museum, and Charles Albi, former Executive Director, will explore connections between the Colorado Railroad Museum and Ted Rose. Scott Lothes, Executive Director of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, will provide the keynote presentation for the evening concentrating on Ted Rose and his artistic legacy in the railroading community.

Untitled, National Railways of Mexico, Zacatecas, Mexico, 1961, Gelatin silver print, 9 ½ x 7 ½ in., Gift of Ted Rose Studio

Virtual Oktoberfest: Milwaukee’s Beer Line

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

Join author John Kelly for a virtual Oktoberfest! Crack open your favorite seasonal Octoberfest and join us for a lecture on the history of the Milwaukee Road’s beer line. 

Since statehood, beer has played an integral role in the growth of Wisconsin industry, while bringing Milwaukee national fame. What might be less obvious, but no less important, was the profound role that rail transportation played in this story. This lecture will look at the rise, fall, and rise again of Milwaukee’s beer industry through the eyes of the Milwaukee Road’s Beer Line.

Milwaukee Road switch engine at the Schlitz Brewery in the 1950s. Photograph by Wallace W. Abbey, collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Abbey-01-084-02.

Virtual Launch Party For Our New Book: The Railroad Photography of Donald W. Furler

Tuesday, August 25, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

Join author Scott Lothes for a virtual launch of the Center’s newest publication, The Railroad Photography of Donald W. Furler. The 216-page hardcover book presents 200 stunning images, printed as rich duotones and showcasing the emergence of railroad action photography during the final years of steam in the Northeast. The Furler Collection is a cornerstone of the Center’s archive, and we are proud to present this long-overdue monograph. 

Lothes will take you behind-the-scenes for both the making of the book and his own fascination with Furler’s photography. Lothes will describe how he went about selecting which photographs to include from the 5,000 in the collection, while sharing a few of his favorites that made the final cut as well as some others that did not. He will also discuss the Center’s archival work, the overall strengths of this collection, and the fascinating industrial landscape of the northeastern United States that formed the backdrop for Furler’s photography. 

The first section of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus Train heads east over the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad behind 4-8-2 locomotive 10 on a damp June 13, 1948, near Burnside, New York. Photograph by Donald W. Furler, collection Center for Railroad Photography &Art, Furler-16-016-01

Following the Golden Spike: Time, Place, and Change Along the First Transcontinental Railroad

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

Join artist Drake Hokanson, contributing author and photographer to the Center’s publication After Promontory, in a re-photography trip along the original Union Pacific route.

Throughout the 150 years since the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, many parts of the 1,800-mile route between Omaha and Sacramento have changed enormously. Some sections are busy, three-track, state-of-the-art mainline; others are abandoned to the desert wind. In his presentation, Hokanson will address the broader history of railroads and photography and expand on how these two technologies came of age together in the nineteenth century and profoundly changed how we experienced the world. Through his black and white photographs, Drake Hokanson will explore the layered past, the natural and human geography, and the deeper meaning of this linear landscape.

Drake Hokanson is an author, photographer, and independent scholar who looks to the broad American land, its places, well-worn paths, people, and stories as the subjects for his photographs, books, exhibits, and essays. He is the author/co-author of three books, has edited and contributed to several others, and has exhibited photographs coast to coast. His other experience includes teaching photography and nonfiction writing at the university level for some thirty years.

Terrace, Utah, showing ties left in place on the original Promontory transcontinental route. Drake Hokanson.

An Evening With The Winners of the 2020 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program: John Troxler & Steven Chen

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 
7:00-8:00 PM (US Central Time), on the Cisco Webex

Available now on YouTube

John E. Troxler and Steven Chen won first prizes in the 2020 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program in the black-and-white and color categories, respectively. Join us in a conversation about their photography.

Steven Chen took first prize in the color category with this shot of a CSX worker fixing the frog at the northeast end of Emory siding just outside of Atlanta, on January 29, 2019. Maintaining the essentials of railroading – the frog which connects the rails of sidings and main lines together – compose a humanistic side of railroad life.

In The Studio With Adam Normandin: Living With Trains And Life With Art

Tuesday, June 30, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Available now on Youtube

Join artist Adam Normandin in an exploration of his work, influences, and studio.

Normandin is a contemporary realist painter living and working in Los Angeles. His paintings depict undoctored freight train cars as they appear in yards, often covered in graffiti or resting in desolate settings. Through his work, Normandin looks to examine the notion of space, purpose, and the passing of time, and the exploration of interconnectedness and transience of humanity.

Adam Normandin poses with Visitor, 2018, oil & acrylic on canvas, 44 x 96 inches

CRP&A Archives and Preservation Q&A

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex
Hosted by Adrienne Evans, CRP&A Archivist

Available now on Youtube

Curious about the basics of photography archiving and preservation? CRP&A Archivist Adrienne Evans answers submitted questions to expand your knowledge on becoming a better caretaker for your photographic materials.

Steam yacht, “Ellide,” rides a flatcar down the makeshift launching track by the steamboat dock at Baldwin, near the northern end of Lake George (New York), circa 1890. Photograph by Fred Thatcher from the Jim Shaughnessy Collection.