Conversations 2016: Sold-out

Conversations 2016, April 8–10 in Lake Forest, Illinois, is sold-out. If you have not yet registered but still wish to attend, please call or send an email ASAP and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Print sales and raffles
Three limited edition prints are available in this year’s print program, featuring the work of presenters Steve Patterson and Ron Hill. Two framed and matted prints, one each from photographers David Plowden and Mel Patrick, will also be given away in raffles. Patrick’s will be raffled on Friday evening and Plowden’s on Saturday. Tickets will be available at the door, and conference patrons will receive free tickets for each raffle.

2016 Docents
The Center is delighted to welcome three new docents to this year’s Conversations. They are Joe Stroppel of Glen Cove, New York; Ryan Gaynor of Toronto, Ontario; and Aviva Gellman of Madison, Wisconsin. Stroppel is a middle school student who participated in the New York City Transit Museum’s “Art on the Tracks” photography workshop last fall. Gaynor is majoring in media arts and media production at Ryerson University in Toronto. Gellman is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and has been interning for the Center in Madison since 2013.

Colorado & Southern 641, by Ron HillColorado & Southern 2-8-0 steam locomotive no. 641 switching cars with a snowy Mt. Elbert in background at Leadville, Colorado, on December 13, 1961. Photograph by Ronald C. Hill and available in a limited edition as part of the Center’s 2016 Print Program.

Conversations 2016 lineup and registrations

Registrations are now open for Conversations 2016, April 8–10 on the campus of Lake Forest College, thirty miles north of Chicago. Conversations was a sell-out in each of the last two years, so register early to ensure your spot. You will not want to miss this year’s diverse lineup of talented presenters. Visit the conference page to register, learn more, and see the lineup of presenters.
Union Pacific in Idaho, by David SalterUnion Pacific freight train climbing out of Idaho’s Snake River Valley in 1953. Photograph by David W. Salter and courtesy of Trains magazine. Authors Wendy Burton and Kevin Keefe will discuss their book Railroad Vision: Steam Era Images from the Trains Magazine Archive at Conversations 2016.

Railroaders wins R&LHS Book Award

The Center’s Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography has received the George W. and Constance M. Hilton Book Award for 2015 from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. The award recognizes outstanding work of “lasting value to the interpretation of North America’s railroading history.” John Gruber edited the book, which was a collaboration with Pablo Delano, Jack Delano’s son, with significant contributions from Jack Holzhueter, Scott Lothes, and Jeremi Suri.

The R&LHS citation calls Railroaders “the first significant biography of everyday railroaders. Taken together, the biographies constitute a history of railroad work in the first half of the 20th century. Some lives and families are shattered by tragedies. But others are enriched by ethnic tradition, educational opportunities, and persistence in demanding jobs that often paid relatively well but required great physical strength and sacrifices of family and marital life.”

Visit our book store to purchase Railroaders today.

railroaders catalog

Malkiewicz wins first prize in 2015 Awards Program

Matthew Malkiewicz of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, received the top award of $1,000 in the Center’s 2015 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program. His “Beneath Calm Waters,” shows former McCloud Railway no. 25 north of Garibaldi, Oregon. He artfully took a single image of a reflection in a pool of water, reversed the image side-to-side and presented it upside down from the way it was shot—producing an exciting, much more attractive view than what he started with.

The judges said that the 2015 awards program was “truly an interesting contest, with the strongest overall batch of material to date.” See all of the winners and read more on the 2015 Awards page.

First Prize: Matthew Malkiewicz

Discover the First Hundred Years of Rail Art

The Fall 2015 issue of the Center’s quarterly journal, Railroad Heritage, features an in-depth look at the first hundred years of rail art by accomplished collector Peter J.C. Mosse. Peter began collecting railroad paintings in 1980 and has since amassed some 150 original works, twenty-three of which are presented in stunning color in his twenty-two page article. The story is a must-read for anyone interested in railroads and the visual arts.

The issue also includes photoessays by renowned photographers Victor Hand and Charles McCreary. Hand offers a glimpse railroading in and around New York City in the 1960s and 1970s, while McCreary recounts growing up around trains in the Upper Midwest in the 1940s and 1950s. This issue also introduces a new column, “Out of the Archives,” edited by Jordan Radke, the Center’s archives manager. The first installment looks at organization and metadata for photography collections.

This 48-page issue is available in our Book Store for $7.95 plus shipping and handling. Members of the Center receive four issues of Railroad Heritage annually as a benefit of membership. If you haven’t done so already, why not join the Center today?

Near Castellammare with Vesuvius in the DistanceGeorg Busse (1810-1868), Near Castellammare with Vesuvius in the Distance, 1843, pencil and watercolor heightened with white, 8-5/8 by 13-3/8 in. Collection of Peter J.C. Mosse. Note how the artist matched the locomotive’s exhaust to that of Vesuvius, perhaps a comparison of the power of each.