The Center Honors John Gruber (founder, 1936-2018) with local exhibition Faces of Railroading at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin

Faces of Railroading: The Making of Madison and Dane County is currently on display in the Art Court at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin from August 6, 2019 to January 26, 2020.

The exhibition looks at the historic role railroaders played in the development of Dane County, Wisconsin, home of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. Through historic and contemporary photographs, the exhibition creates a visual conversation about the significance of railroad workers and how railroads impacted the structure of Madison’s neighborhoods, creating both physical and cultural spaces.

Special attention is given to railroader neighborhoods and their geographic proximity to the railroad yards. The exhibition takes a focused look on the individual workers, the unsung heroes of the rail lines, and highlights the importance of the industry in the growth of the city of Madison, Dane country, and the surrounding service area.

The exhibition was curated and heavily features the work of John Gruber, founder of Center for Railroad Photography & Art, who died on October 9, 2018. His influence on the field of railroad photography is impossible to overstate, from his own black-and-white work beginning in the 1960s to his 2018 book that reexamines the lives and photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Classic Trains magazine dubbed him a “provocateur of railroad photography” in a 2014 profile by Kevin Keefe.

The exhibition also features photographs by Henry Koshollek, Richard Gruber, Robert Eineke, and William D. Middleton, plus images from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek