The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler

Yard Complex, Kenova, Kentucky, February 1992. Photograph by David Kahler.

The exhibition The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler traces industrial rail lines across America’s Appalachian coal country. Once thriving economic centers, Kahler’s view of small-town West Virginia and Kentucky illustrates the ebb and flow of communities dependent on railroad traffic amidst the decline of the once powerful coal industry. Desolate, yet beautiful, Kahler’s photographs expertly capture the raw emotions attached to the railroad industry. Along with the loss of major coal productions in the region and the resulting economic vacuum it created as it disappeared, the railroad continues to serve as a financial lifeline and a reminder of a richer past.

About the Exhibition

  • 29 black-and-white prints
  • 16×20 inches, matted and framed
  • 1 introductory panel and 29 exhibition labels
  • 145 linear feet, total

Past Venue

  • Historical Society of Western Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia, January 16 to June 10, 2023
  • Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 10 to December 19, 2021


To book a showing or get more information, get in touch with the Center at 608-251-5785 or send an email to info [at] railphoto-art [dot] org.