Three-Of-A-Kind : 2021 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program

Theme: Three-Of-A-Kind 

The 2021 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program asks photographers to submit a set of three digital images that thematically tell a story capturing a unique aspect of railroading. These three images will be judged as a single submission. Photographers may submit up to two sets of three images.

There are no time frame limitations, digital manipulation of the images is permitted but not required, color and black & white images are acceptable as determined by the artist.


Theme introduction: December 1, 2020
Submission deadline: May 1, 2021
Awards notification: August 1, 2021

Learn more here

Keep in touch with CRP&A postcards

In conjunction with an article in Railroad Heritage 2021:1 by Den Adler, “The Rise and Fall of the Railroad Postcard,” the Center has published a set of six postcards with images from our collections. In this time of limited contact and so much electronic communication, we want to encourage physical, tangible correspondence. Our postcards are printed on 130-pound linen cover stock, and they feature the work of photographers Katherine Botkin, William Botkin, Victor Hand, Ronald Hill, Thomas McIlwraith, and James Shaughnessy.

$5 per set of six cards, which includes domestic postage

Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography, presented by Kevin Keefe and Scott Lothes

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.
Kevin Keefe is the former vice-president-editorial for Kalmbach Publishing Co. He served as editor of Trains from 1992 to 2000. As a student at Michigan State, he worked on Pere Marquette steam locomotive no. 1225, and later authored a book about it.
Scott 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.

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.

Online Exhibition: Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy

View Exhibit Here

Presented on

With dramatic images and sweeping promotional strategies, Lucius Beebe—joined in 1941 by his life partner Charles Clegg—introduced railroad photography and the world of railroading to wide popular audiences. Their pioneering efforts established a broad market and wide appreciation for rail photography, leading to its far-reaching appeal in print today. The exhibition Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy has been assembled by the Center for Railroad Photography from source material of the book of the same title (The Center for Railroad Photography & Art, 2018), and is newly presented in this online format.

Lucius Beebe (left) and Charles Clegg pose along the tracks of the Southern Pacific narrow gauge in the Owens Valley of California. Their pioneering efforts established a broad market and wide appreciation for rail photography. Beebe’s 4×5-inch Graflex Model B with an adapter for a film pack rests on the ground next to him, while Clegg holds his original Kodak Medalist with a black lens barrel. Clegg made the photo using a self-timer and tripod. It appeared on the dust jacket of Mixed Train Daily. Photograph by Charles Clegg (by timer). California State Railroad Museum, BC3411.

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.

This event is free. 
Yard Complex, Kenova, West Virginia, February 1992. Photograph by David Kahler.