John Gruber, 1936-2018

John Gruber, founder of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, died on October 9, 2018. His influence on the field of railroad photography is impossible to overstate, from his own paradigm-shifting black-and-white work beginning in the 1960s to his 2018 book that reexamines the lives and photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Beyond his own luminous work, Gruber shined a spotlight on other notable photographers while also encouraging young and emerging practitioners. Classic Trains magazine dubbed him a “provocateur of railroad photography” in a 2014 profile by Kevin Keefe. There would be no Center without Gruber’s vision and tireless efforts, and all of us here stand always on his shoulders. Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek

A service is planned for Saturday, October 27, in Madison, Wisconsin. Read John’s self-authored obituary and a tribute by Scott Lothes, the Center’s president and executive director.