Technical Genius: Behind the scenes with O. Winston Link’s famous photographs

Take an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look into technical aspects of several photographs of O. Winston Link, the famed 1950s railroad photographer who iconically captured some of the last steam trains in America, set against the picturesque backdrop of rural Appalachia. Ashley Webb, curator of collections and exhibitions for the O. Winston Link Museum, will present and examine the notebooks, letters, and installation images of some of the photographer’s more iconic and technically complex works.

Tuesday, July 9, at 7:00 p.m. Central Time

(5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, 6:00 p.m. Mountain, and 8:00 p.m. Eastern)

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This is a free Zoom event, open to everyone. This presentation will be recorded and later posted on our YouTube page.

Ashley Webb received her B.A. in History and Anthropology from Longwood University, in Farmville, Virginia, and her M.A. in Museum Studies from Bournemouth University, in Dorset, England. She is currently the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions and acting Executive Director with the Historical Society of Western Virginia, which operates both the Roanoke History and the O. Winston Link Museums. In addition to her job with the Historical Society, Ashley works with several local museums as a contract museum collections specialist. Her specialty is fashion history and she owns Bustle Textiles, a historic dress preservation company.

Based in Roanoke, Virginia, the O. Winston Link Museum collection comprises the striking photographic and auditory works developed by photographer-artist O. Winston Link between 1955 and 1960. A successful commercial photographer from New York, Link brought his studio outdoors to create carefully arranged images designed to convey the end of Norfolk & Western’s steam locomotives and the communities and countryside they passed through. The museum – which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year — is the repository for all of Link’s Norfolk & Western negatives, and contains both rotating and permanent exhibitions; learn more at:

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Above: O. Winston Link’s masterpiece “Hot Shot Eastbound at the Drive-In, Iaeger, West Virginia, 1956.” Below: A behind-the-scenes view of Link in action, from the July 9 presentation.