The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler, exhibition opening event

Friday, September 10, 2021 / 6-8:30 pm (CDT)
Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee School of Engineering
1000 North Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202

The Center for Railroad Photography and Art, in collaboration with the Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, is proud to present The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler, an exhibition opening event on Friday, September 10 from 6-8:30 pm.

The event will feature a recorded introduction of the exhibition by photographer David Kahler.

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.

  • Doors open, 6 pm
  • Presentation, David Kahler recorded talk (with introduction by James Kieselburg & Scott Lothes), 6:30 pm
  • Reception, 7:30 pm

The Center for Railroad Photography and Art and the Grohmann Museum have collaborated to present this exhibition, which features more than 40 photographs and is distilled in a book of the same name published by the Center.

Reservations are not required, and the event is free. MSOE currently requires masks for all individuals.

Iaeger, West Virginia, February 1996. Photograph by David Kahler
 
 
David Kahler, FAIA, received his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and Master of Arts in Architecture from Princeton University. He also holds an honorary Ph.D in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and an honorary D.Eng. from MSOE. He had a private architectural practice based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for thirty-six years where he raised four children and served as the President of the Milwaukee Art Museum from 1974 to 1976. Kahler currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.

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)

Now Available on YouTube

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 Limited, Cardinal 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.
 

Call for Submissions: Rails-to-Trails Project

About the Project

Rail-Trail Connections

 
Before: Victor Hand, A railcar inspects St. Paul Pass on the Milwaukee Road mainline near the Montana-Idaho border at Adair, Idaho, on June 15, 1978. After: Route of the Hiawatha trail, St. Paul Pass, Idaho. Copyright Traillink user.

 

We are looking for photographs showing contemporary views of rail-trails. You can help us develop a new exhibition project exploring the ways railroads continue to connect people and places, even when they no longer exist. Through the revitalization and reuse of abandoned rail lines, rail trails provide public access to former railroad spaces as recreational trails. The project aims to educate the general public about the prolific influence that railroads have left on the United States’ history, geography, economy, and community structures through the lens of the rail-trail movement and its presence in both rural and urban life.

The exhibition will be presented as re-photography using the CRP&A’s own collection for historical images juxtaposed with present-day images to contextualize the narrative of the rise, decline, and renaissance of many American railroads in a frequent tale of rebirth as rail-trails.

We need your help showing the contemporary changes along these rail lines. On the adjacent tab is a list of rail-trails set to be featured in the exhibition. They are split into two priority groups based on importance to the project.

You can photograph these trails in a number of ways.

  • Re-photography: take an exact re-photograph of a CRP&A image
  • Social change: show how human interactions and built infrastructure along the rail line have changed
  • Landscape/Environmental change: show how the physical landscape along the rail line has changed

 

For information about submitting to this project please send a note detailing which trail(s) you would be interested in photographing to submissions@railphoto-art.org. Our exhibition staff will provide you with additional information about the best approach to photographing a specific trail as it relates to the exhibition narrative.

There is no limit on the number of trails you can contribute to. All images must be high-resolution JPEG or TIF files with a pixel dimension of at least 3,000 on one side. Please provide basic caption information, location and date, as well as optional supplemental text describing your journey to make the photograph. Please also provide your contact information: name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

If selected, the CRP&A may feature your photograph(s) in our upcoming rail-trails exhibition project, and may also use them in our journal, Railroad Heritage, online, or in another appropriate format. The Center reserves the right to retain electronic copies for future publication, use on website, Facebook, and other social media, or for public exhibition. In all cases, the photographer retains the copyright to the image.

Trails to Photograph

Trail Name State Priority
Razorback Regional Greenway Arkansas 1
Bay Area Trail Collaboration California 1
San Francisco Bay Trail California 1
Withlacoochee State Trail Florida 2
Atlanta Beltline Georgia 1
Silver Comet Trail Georgia 1
Trail of the Coeur D’Alenes Idaho 1
Green Bay Trail Illinois 2
Robert McClory Bike Path Illinois 2
Rock Island Trail Illinois 1
Monon Trail Indiana 1
High Trestle Trail Iowa 2
Sauk Rail-Trail Iowa 1
Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Maine/Vermont 2
Baltimore Greenway Trail Network Maryland 1
Great Allegheny Passage Maryland/Pennsylvania 1
Betsie Valley Trail Michigan 2
Macomb Orchard Trail Michigan 2
Route of the Olympian Montana 1
Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail Nebraska 2
Erie Canalway Trail New York 1
D&L Trail Pennsylvania 1
Path of the Flood Trail Pennsylvania 2
Pine Creek Rail Trail Pennsylvania 1
George S. Mickelson Trail South Dakota 1
Virginia Creeper National Recreational Trail Virginia 1
Palouse to Cascade State Park Trail Washington 1

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 PM (U.S. Central Time), 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
 

View the virtual exhibition on display at the Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University. The Grunwald Gallery created this online exhibition. The exhibition and events are made possible by the Environmental Resilience Institute, and the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design at Indiana University.

The next live staging of this exhibition with be hosted the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana, August 6 to October, 16, 2021.