Events


Amtrak’s Evolving Image

Wednesday, August 25, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Tuesday, August 24 at 4:30 p.m. (CT)

Register Here

Amtrak Brand Communications Manager Matt Donnelly joins the Center for Railroad Photography & Art to discuss the development of Amtrak’s brand over the last 50 years. Donnelly will discuss Amtrak’s earliest attempt at developing a paint scheme, the creation of its iconic liveries of the 1970s and 1980s, and the challenges of creating a consistent image on a diverse fleet of railroad equipment.

Originally from Auburn, New York, Matt Donnelly is a career railroader, joining Amtrak in 2005 after graduating from the State University of New York at Oswego. He’s worked in field and corporate positions, including as a ticket agent in the Syracuse and Rochester, New York stations, as a trainmaster in Washington Terminal, in product development overseeing the Capitol LimitedCardinal and Silver Service, and auditing. He is currently Amtrak’s Brand Communications Manager based out of corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C. Matt studied dark room photography and has been published in various rail industry publications over the past twenty years.

This event is free.

 

 

Amtrak’s first timetable, and one of the first pieces to publicly display the newly created Amtrak name and logo. Copyright the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

The Sun Always Sets in the East and West, Yoichi Uzeki

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 PM (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, July 12 at 4:30 PM (CT)

Now Available on YouTube

Yoichi Uzeki returns to the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s summer programming series following his acclaimed presentation at Virtual Conversations 2021, our most recent online conference.

Yoichi will expand on his photography travels and experiences in the eastern and western metropolises of Tokyo and New York, respectively, with a focus on the awe-inspiring sunsets from both cities.

A native of Tokyo, Yoichi Uzeki is a pianist, composer, and arranger who received his bachelor’s degree at Temple University and his master’s degree and the Sir Roland Hanna Award from Queens College, City University of New York. Uzeki started seriously taking railroad photographs after he opened his Instagram account on July 31, 2015. Since then, he has pursued railroad photography in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, and all over Japan.

This event is free.

 

 

Reflection over rice fields at Sakura City, Chiba, Japan. Photograph by Yoichi Uzeki.

Hoosier Lifelines: Social and Environmental Change Along the Monon, 1847-2020

Tuesday, June 8, 2021
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, June 7 at 4:30 PM (CT)

Now Available on YouTube

The curators, historians, and artists behind the Hoosier Lifelines exhibition will discuss their interdisciplinary efforts integrating art and history in an exploration of Indiana’s changing environment along the remains of the historic Monon Railroad, from the Ohio River’s banks to Lake Michigan’s dunes. Today, its trains gone and its tracks largely deserted, the Monon’s path serves as the foundation on which to build a new understanding of the interplay of landscapes, ecosystems, and communities across time and space.

Dr. Elizabeth Grennan Browning is a U.S. historian, whose environmental history research examines how Americans have thought about and engaged with environmental issues and built narratives around these experiences, particularly through the lenses of environmental health and social justice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She joined Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute as the Midwestern/Indiana community history fellow in 2018 after receiving her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis. At ERI, her research has spanned a broad range of environmental histories, from the interconnected stories of urban renewal and Superfund remediation in East Chicago to Midwestern farmers’ decision-making regarding resilience practices. Throughout her ERI projects, she has worked to build public discussion about climate change through public history engagement.

Richard Koenig is the Genevieve U. Gilmore Professor of Art at Kalamazoo College. Born in 1960, Koenig studied photography and holds degrees from Pratt Institute and Indiana University. In the summer of 2010, he began working on a long-term documentary project called Contemporary Views Along the First Transcontinental Railroad, four articles on which were published between 2014 and 2019. In addition, a memoir piece was published in Railroad Heritage (2017) as well as one on New Mexico’s last active semaphores in Railroad History (2019). He’s currently working on an article on the railroads around Traverse City, Michigan.

This event is free.

 

A pair of brand-new Monon F3A diesel locomotives on display at Michigan City, Indiana, on January 10, 1947. Photograph by Perry Frank Johnson, collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art

Of Light, Landscape and the Echo of Trains, presented by Todd Halamka

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, May 24 at 4:30 PM (CT)

Now Available on YouTube

A selection of railroad photography by Todd Halamka comprised of his image making Process, Natural Landscapes, and Urban Landscapes.

 

Todd Halamka, is a practicing architect and founder of Todd Halamka + Partners in downtown Chicago, and a member of board of directors at the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. His focus on railroad photography began in 2011, combining his lifelong love of trains and the outdoors with his fascination for image making.

This event is free.
 

 

In the Process section of his presentation, Todd will show a continuing interest in how still images, put together in different ways, convey context, movement, and light to elicit viewer’s emotions at a deeper level. In this case it is -40 degrees on a brutally cold Moscow, Russia morning as a unit oil train climbs the Mockba River viaduct, presented as a sequential overlay of three still images, with a progression of transparency from background to foreground.

Celestials, film premiere and discussion, hosted by the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA)

Saturday, May 8, 2021
3:00 – 6:00 PM US Central Time [1:00 – 4:00 PM Pacific]

View Panel Discussion

The Center for Railroad Photography & Art invites our members to participate in a special premiere of the film Celestials, hosted by the Chinese Historical Society of America on Saturday, May 8th, 2021 via Zoom.

During the late 19th century, the term ‘celestial’ was a pejorative used to insult Chinese immigrants and laborers. Ironically, while there was discrimination towards Chinese workers in the United States, American developers depended heavily upon the work of Chinese immigrants, particularly when it came to the building of the transcontinental railroad.

The documentary film Celestials showcases six years of collaboration between Stanford University and the Chinese Historical Society of America to explore the lives of the Chinese railroad workers who built the transcontinental railroad.

The film explores the links between the Chinese workers and their ancestral homes in Kaiping, China through groundbreaking archaeological research. It paints a composite portrait of workers through oral histories collected from their descendants. And it examines the 150-year struggle for Chinese Americans to obtain national recognition for their contributions to American history.

CHSA invites CRP&A supporters for a screening of Celestials, followed by a panel discussion with Stanford Professor of Archaeology Barbara Voss, Award-Winning Local Historian Connie Young Yu, and Director and Producer, and past Conversations conference presenter, Barre Fong.

To learn more about the Chinese Historical Society of America, or to make a gift in support of today’s event, visit: https://chsa.org/support/

 

 

 

 


Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy, with Mel Patrick and John Ryan

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

Mel Patrick and John Ryan, authors of Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy, have teamed up to present on one of the most legendary pairings in American railroad photography. Patrick and Ryan will present a more in depth view of their research, including the work contributed by the late John Gruber, to discuss Beebe and Clegg’s pioneering approach to railroad photography.

Mel Patrick is a Chicago native who moved to Denver in 1972. He received the 2011 Railway & Locomotive Historical Society photography award for lifetime achievement in railroad history. Patrick made synchronized night flash pictures from 1968 to 1973.

John Ryan is a skilled photographer whose work has been recognized by Railfan & Railroad Magazine in 2004 for its cover contest and in 2008 for its center spread contest. A railroad historian, he is also co-author of SLC at 100, a history of the San Luis Central Railroad in Colorado.

 
This event is free.

 

Beebe titled it “On the Outside Iron” but provided no details about this steam freight train on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s electrified main line in Maryland. Today, this is Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor. Photograph by Lucius Beebe. Collection of the California State Railroad Museum, BC3528.

The Art of Dining on Rails: Presented by Jay W. Christopher & Anne Lapinski

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

The Christopher Transportation Museum is home to Jay Christopher’s personal collection of airline, shipline, railroad, and airship artifacts that preserve the history of transportation dining starting in the late 1800s. The dining artifacts along with the accompanying collections tell a broad story of early travel and preserve significant history in their aesthetic design and fabrication.
 
The railroad collection at the Christopher Transportation Museum is the museum’s first and largest collection. The railroad collection presents a sweeping narrative that touches on many aspects of early railroading in the United States and abroad. The museum’s collection allows visitors to get a first-hand look at what it was like to work, travel, and, most importantly to eat aboard these illustrious trains.
 
The Christopher Transportation Museum and the Center for Railroad Photography & Art invites you to join us as we explore the museum’s collection in the upcoming presentation, “The Art of Dining on Rails.”
 
Jay W. Christopher, Historical Collector, The Christopher Transportation Museum
 
Anne Lapinski, Collection Curator and Manager, The Christopher Transportation Museum
 
This event is free.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
View of the railroad dining car collection at the Jay W. Christopher Transportation Museum. Photograph by Anne Lapinski.
 

The Iron Road to the Deep North: Japanese Railways of Hokkaido, Then and Now

Wednesday, January 6, 2021
7:00-8:00 P.M. (U.S. Central), on Cisco Webex

Now Available on YouTube

Victor Hand traveled to Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island, in 1966 and 1971 in search of steam locomotives.
 
Scott Lothes lived in Hokkaido from 2005 to 2007 where he taught English and rode trains all over the island. His presentation uses Hand’s photography, which is now part of the Center’s collection, as well as Lothes’s more recent views, to explore Hokkaido and its fascinating railways. The tracks cling to rugged coastlines, climb spectacular mountains, and have undergone many changes in the decades between Hand’s and Lothes’s visits.
 
Lothes, President and Executive Director of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, joined the Center’s staff in 2008. He is a regular contributor to Trains, Railfan and Railroad, and other railroad publications, with more than fifty bylined articles and some 500 photographs in print.
 
This event is free.

 

 

 

A Japanese National Railways D52 locomotive steams south with a freight train at Onuma, Hokkaido, in January 1971 beneath snow-covered Komagatake. Photograph by Victor Hand, Hand-JNR-C18-01.
 
A JR Hokkaido “Super Hokuto” Limited Express train rolls along Uchiura (“Volcano”) Bay near Date, Hokkaido, in June 2007 with Komagatake in the background at left. Photograph by Scott Lothes.

Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography

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

Now Available on YouTube

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.