Scholarship Winners Announced

A South Carolina teenager who explores the lighting possibilities of digital photography, and a New York City young professional who uses traditional large-format media, have won scholarships to attend the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s annual Conversations about Photography conference, April 12-14 on the campus of co-sponsor Lake Forest (Illinois) College.

Peter Lewis, 18 and a native of Clemson, South Carolina, was home-schooled and now attends Clemson University as a freshman majoring in pre-business. He says, “I can’t count the number of times I have gotten up at 5 o’clock on a Saturday morning to seek out a few trains. Regularly, I would ride my bike to the railroad track.” Additionally, he frequently serves as a volunteer photographer at events throughout the region. See more of his work on

John Sanderson, 29, is a rising young professional photographer in New York City where he has shown his general work as well as his railroad specialty at five galleries. He is a graduate of Hunter College, New York City, in political science. Of his choice to use 4×5 and 8×10 view cameras, he says, “The larger format changed my approach to the landscape. Since I could no longer capture fast-moving objects as I could with 35mm, I became more contemplative of the moment than I was with the smaller camera. I started to see the movement of light and shadow across a scene as important as a rumbling train.” See more of Sanderson’s work at

This is the inaugural year for conference scholarships, which cover all expenses including travel for two young or emerging photographers. Applicants had to submit ten images with a statement of purpose and meet one of three criteria: under 30 years of age, enrolled in an art-related higher-education program, or have less than five years experience in the field. Support for the effort came from the sixteen patrons of the 2012 conference. They are Darryl Bond, Norman Carlson, Charles Castner, Bon French, John Gruber, Nona Hill, Clark Johnson, Jim Koglin, Jeff Mast, Brian Matsumoto, David Mattoon, Don Phillips, Kenneth Rehor, Michael Schmidt, Jeffrey Smith, and Michael Valentine.

The eleventh annual Conversations about Photography is April 12-14, 2013, for the tenth time on the campus of co-sponsor Lake Forest College, 30 miles north of Chicago. Other sponsors include Trains, Classic Trains, Canon, Railfan & Railroad, and the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. The event begins at 5:30 on Friday with a reception, dinner, and keynote address by Tony Reevy on his new book about O. Winston Link’s photography. Saturday features a full day of presentations headlined by Norfolk Southern company photographer Casey Thomason, with a reception in the evening. Sunday morning workshops include a panel discussion on railroad journalism led by Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains magazine.

Visit the conference page for more details and to purchase tickets. Consider becoming a patron to ensuring that the scholarship program continues in 2014 and beyond.

Photographs by Peter Lewis (left) and John Sanderson, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art's 2013 scholarship winners.Photographs by Peter Lewis (left) and John Sanderson, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s 2013 docent scholarship winners.

Center Receives R&LHS Article Award

The Center’s editorial consultant, John O. “Jack” Holzhueter, received the 2011 David P. Morgan article award from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. Holzhueter received the award for his story “Olive W. Dennis: B&O Polymath,” which appeared in issue no. 24 of the Center’s journal, Railroad Heritage. R&LHS awards committee chairman Mark Entrop came to Madison to present the award in-person on December 29, 2012.
Jack Holzhueter and Mark Entrop
Mark Entrop (right), chairman of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society awards committee, presented the formal certificate for the 2011 David P. Morgan article award to John O. “Jack” Holzhueter, a consultant to the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, at the Center’s administrative office in Madison, Wisconsin. Holzhueter and Entrop stand with the certificate outside the Center’s office. Photo by John Gruber

Chicago Project Expanding

The Center’s innovative “Faces of Chicago’s Railroad Community: Photographs by Jack Delano” exhibition has received a larger and more prominent location at the Chicago History Museum, as well as new dates. The exhibition will now appear in the Green-Field Gallery, right off the main stairs and the only elevator in the museum, ensuring that every visitor will see it. The gallery’s additional space will permit using larger photographs, more artifacts, and the incorporation of contemporary photographs of portrait subjects’ families. These have been made by Jack Delano’s son, Pablo—a talented photographer himself and a professor of fine arts at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. The exhibition now will open on April 4, 2014, and remain on display through August 10, 2015. As senior curator Russell Lewis explained, “Faces has thus moved up on the CHM marquee, and we are looking forward to showcasing it in a larger form and more central location.”
South Water Street freight depot in Chicago
Illinois Central’s South Water Street freight terminal in Chicago, April 1943. The image is among the sixty photographs that will appear in the Center’s exhibition “Faces of Chicago’s Railroad Community: Photographs by Jack Delano,” which will open April 4, 2014, at the Chicago History Museum. Learn more about the exhibition.

Railroad Heritage Article Wins R&LHS Award

Jack Holzhueter’s article, “Olive W. Dennis: B&O Polymath,” received the 2011 David P. Morgan Article Award from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. The article, a collaborative effort that began with Shirley Burman Steinheimer’s files about women railroaders, appeared in number 24 (2010). Holzhueter, a consultant to the Center, is a retired researcher and editor for the Wisconsin Historical Society. “We are indebted to Jack Holzhueter and those who assisted him for doing the requisite research and writing this fascinating article about a truly remarkable woman,” Lyle Key wrote in the Fall-Winter issue of Railroad History, published by R&LHS.

2013 Conversations Conference Scheduled April 12-14

The next Conversations about Photography conference will be held April 12-14, 2013, at Lake Forest College. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s conference patrons, for the first time scholarships (PDF application) are available for two young or emerging photographers. Watch for announcements here and on our Facebook page. Visit the conference page for a review of the 2012 event.