Railroads, Art, and American Life: An Artist’s Memoir by J. Craig Thorpe

Tuesday, May 23, 2023
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom

Available on YouTube

Collecting more than thirty years of paintings and renderings, Railroads, Art, and American Life tells the story of rail transportation in America through the life and works of artist J. Craig Thorpe. His artwork depicts not only the golden art of train travel but considers the present and looks forward to a potential future. Featuring more than 130 color illustrations and combining history, biography, ethics, and humor, Thorpe’s personal story joins with his paintings to invite the reader to relive the heyday of American rail and better understand the role of railroads in our society today.

J. Craig Thrope grew up in Pittsburgh where the Pennsylvania Railroad paintings of Grif Teller inspired his interests in art and railroading. A degree in design from Carnegie-Mellon University refined his skills, which he began to apply through volunteer work at the East Broad Top. After army service, jobs in architecture, and grad school, Thorpe moved to Seattle as a freelance illustrator. Amtrak’s 1993 calendar gave his work a national audience. Now, over the past thirty years, Thrope has completed more than fifty works for Amtrak, fifty-four for White Pass and Yukon, as well as numerous others for railroad suppliers and operators, excursion railways, and museums. The scope of his artwork falls into three general categories: paintings of the past, paintings of the present, and paintings of what is possible.


This event is free.
This presentation will be recorded and be made available on our YouTube page, www.youtube.com/railphotoart

“Railroads, Art, and American Life: An Artist’s Memoir” is available now at Indiana University Press




Book Cover Art:
“The Mountains Still Call”
C. 2022 J Craig Thorpe
Oil on canvas 20×30 in