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CRP&A

CRP&A

3D exhibitions

  • CRP&A

    The Call of Trains: Railroad Photographs by Jim Shaughnessy

    Shaughnessy and a small crew of his colleagues distinguished themselves from other railroad photographers of their generation by starting to think more photographically, exploring the camera’s potential more creatively. Collectively, and with the support and encouragement of then-Trains editor David P. Morgan, they blasted through the calcified bedrock of the three-quarter, wedge-shot tradition, developing a new visual language for railroad photography that in the 1950s found its way, slowly but surely, into the railfan print media. Because of these innovations, railroad pictures were lifted into the realm of art for the first time, warranting different consideration by photographers, editors, and the public. As part of this advance guard, Shaughnessy made conscious decisions to see beyond trains, embracing the “ugly beauty” of industrial environments. This decision set him apart from most amateur photographers of the day. Despite his unusual status, Shaughnessy forged ahead, relying on intuition and passion. He buoyed himself and his craft with a healthy dose of self-reliance coupled to an inner drive that bordered on, and even crossed over into, obsession. His aesthetic choices demonstrated the desire to include the human element, the desire to place trains and locomotives in a broader context, and the desire to explore the railroad after dark. This man from Troy, New York, was a germinating force within the school of American train photography that was taking root in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Shaughnessy’s depictions of America’s railroad culture within the urban townscapes, cities and rural topographies of the Northeast helped provide others with new visions. His content-filled compositions capture a sense of place and a sense of time, describing in well-observed moments how the engines, railroaders, terminals, yards, station architecture, geography and landscape looked. Jim Shaughnessy (1933–2018) was an astute historian who bears witness to perhaps the most dynamic epoch of American transportation. He photographed in a region of the country that had more railroad companies operating per square mile than any other part of the nation. Both big systems and one-engine-on-the-roster wonders operated with esoteric equipment and inspired fabled stories. He covered them all exhaustively, with affection and without pretense. His deep connection to this past vividly brings it into the present, helping us realize the true importance of his work. His images are valuable documents that broaden our understanding of railroading’s visual culture at mid-century, successfully linking all who see them to railroading’s past in a way that only photographs can. The Center produced "The Call of Trains: Railroad Photographs by Jim Shaughnessy" in conjunction with the book of same title by Shaughnessy and Jeff Brouws (W.W. Norton, 2008). *Previous Venues* Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 27, 2018 to November 27, 2018 National Railroad Hall of Fame, Galesburg, Illinois, summer 2017 to summer 2018 Oliver B. Jensen Gallery, Valley Railroad, Essex, Connecticut, June 25 through October 25, 2015 As part of “All Aboard! Railroads and the Historic Landscapes They Travel, Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey, November 16, 2014, through January 4, 2015 California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, February 6 through September 16, 2009 *Contact* To book a showing or get more information, get in touch with the Center at 608-251-5785 or send an email to info [at] railphoto-art [dot] org.

  • CRP&A

    Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy

    With dramatic images and sweeping promotional strategies, Lucius Beebe—joined in 1941 by his life partner Charles Clegg—introduced railroad photography and the world of railroading to wide popular audiences. Their pioneering efforts established a broad market and wide appreciation for rail photography, leading to its far-reaching appeal in print today. With several prints never before seen by the public, the exhibition Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy has been assembled by the Center for Railroad Photography from source material of the book of the same title (The Center for Railroad Photography & Art, 2018). Beebe and Clegg met for the first time in April 1941 at a brunch in Washington, D.C. The two instantly hit it off and began what would become a lifetime partnership in both their personal and professional lives. For the next quarter of a century, they compiled an impressive publishing record, while Beebe also provided a prolific outpouring of texts for newspaper columns and national magazines such as Holiday, Town & Country, Esquire, Ford Times, Gourmet, and This Week. In their professional lives, Beebe and Clegg began by showcasing their own heroic images of trains, moving creatively ahead with pictures and texts, reaching a peak in Mixed Train Daily. They went on to recognize other venues and photographers, giving increased attention to railroad imagery, culminating in Great Railroad Photographs U.S.A. At a time when railroad books were almost unknown, it took a celebrity writer of the stature of Lucius Beebe to transform the seemingly prosaic subject of railroads into books that beguiled the public. Beebe and Clegg pioneered the genre of railroad books, brought their material to mass-market audiences, and established themselves as household names. Their work built the foundation for continuing interest in creative railroad photography and helped aggrandize shortline and narrow-gauge railroading. Beebe and Clegg were the right people at the right time to bring the heroism, charm, and history of railroading to the public. Their photography and their writing demonstrated the importance of railroading in community life and contributed to America’s historical legacy. Together Beebe and Clegg created more than thirty books on railroading and Western Americana. Their legacy has grown larger than the publications they produced, as they demonstrated that the railroad serves the nation as an icon of American experience. The Center for Railroad Photography & Art is a 501©3 non-profits arts and education organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, that operates primarily through exhibitions, conferences, and publications to build an understanding of railroading’s importance in the development of the United States. The Center produced the exhibition, Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy to complement the book of the same title by John Gruber and John Ryan. The Center is a membership organization, open to all. To learn more about its programs and how to join, visit www.railphoto-art.org

  • CRP&A

    Milwaukee’s Beer Line

    Empires rise and fall, but one title has always reigned strong in Milwaukee: “Brew City.” Since statehood, beer has played an integral role in the growth of Wisconsin industry while bringing Milwaukee national fame. What might be less obvious, but no less important, was the profound role that rail transportation played in this story. To shine a light on both, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art curated the exhibition Milwaukee’s Beer Line, which narrates the rise, fall, and rise again of Milwaukee’s beer industry through the eyes of the Milwaukee Road’s Beer Line. The photographs from the show come from the Center’s Wallace W. Abbey Collection. During the 1950s Abbey was an associate editor for Trains magazine, the nation’s foremost railroad magazine. With offices located in downtown Milwaukee, the Beer Line became a natural subject of interest. Following the theme of the exhibition and to reach new demographics, the Center primarily traveled the show at Wisconsin breweries. Originally commissioned by the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, the exhibition continued on to several breweries in the Madison area before debuting in its namesake city at Lakefront Brewery. The show chronicles the history of the railroad’s role in the growth of Milwaukee’s beer industry and depicts how major Milwaukee breweries used the Beer Line to supply Milwaukeeans and beyond with their beloved brews. Previous Venues Right Bauer Brewing, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, October 1, 2019 to January 2, 2020 ABA National Brewery Museum, Potosi Brewery, Potosi, Wisconsin, April 23 to September 30, 2019 Capital Brewery, Middleton, Wisconsin, February 5 to March 5, 2019 Sun Prairie Public Library, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, December 10, 2018 through January 31, 2019 Good City Brewing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 5 through March 1, 2018 Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 30 2017 through February 5, 2018 Grumpy Troll Brew Pub, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, October 23 through November 27, 2017 Octopi Brewing, Waunakee, Wisconsin, September 29 through October 23, 2017 East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, East Troy, Wisconsin, August 25 through September 29, 2017

  • CRP&A

    Railroads and the American Industrial Landscape: Ted Rose Paintings and Photographs

    In accord with artist Ted Rose’s wishes, the Center produced an exhibition, conservation, and publishing program. The Center partnered on the exhibition with the Ted Rose Studio, with support from the North American Railway Foundation. “The railroad is a central American cultural icon, and the subject inspired works by some of the nation’s most important 19th and 20th century artists. In his paintings and photographs, Ted Rose shows himself a worthy member of this aesthetic pantheon,” Prof. Betsy Fahlman said at the opening at Marquette University. She also gave a talk at the opening in Sacramento. “A native of Milwaukee, that dynamic midwestern industrial city established the visual foundation of his art. Working in the evanescent medium of watercolor, Rose captured the vigorous atmosphere of the American railroad, his limpid colors and liquid washes conveying the crash and roar of his favorite subject. His paintings are positioned at the intersection of realism and imagination, and in portraying the modern industrial landscape of commerce, he recognized that the railroad was a central component,” Fahlman said. A lead gift from John A. Mellowes, chairman and CEO of Charter Manufacturing (Mequon, Wisconsin), made the exhibitions possible. Charter’s companies operate steel making, rolling, processing, and forming facilities in Wisconsin and Ohio. Kalmbach Publishing Company, publisher of Trains and Classic Trains, joined as a major donor. In addition, gifts have come from 135 patrons. Working with Polly Rose and Ted Rose Studio (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Lake Forest College Special Collections Department (Lake Forest, Illinois), and the Haggerty Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the Center organized the program to exhibit, conserve, and publish these photographs. The Center and the Special Collections Department are cataloging and preserving the photography collection of more than a thousand pieces, in accord with Rose’s wishes. Rose was born and raised in Milwaukee. During the summers of high school and college he worked at Kalmbach Publishing Company when its offices were in downtown Milwaukee. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a BFA in painting (honors) and minors in printmaking and history in 1962. After serving in the U.S. Army, 1963-65, including one Vietnam tour, he returned to Kalmbach for a few months. He also worked for the Chicago & North Western as a night brakeman. In 1965, lured by the mystique of the Denver & Rio Grande Western, he moved to Chama, New Mexico, and then settled in Santa Fe in 1966. It was in Santa Fe that he met and married Polly. Their son Jesse and daughter Molly both inherited their father’s creativity. During his years in Santa Fe, Rose was a successful graphic designer. He designed the logos and paint scheme for the Santa Fe Southern Railway in 1993. In 2001 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern New Mexico Advertising Federation. What is less known is that Ted Rose was also a remarkable photographer. His early creativity found expression through the camera. As a young man between 1956 and 1962, he followed trains and rode the rails in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala. His stunning, mostly black-and-white photographs taken during these journeys capture the last days of active steam railroading in America. Their quality also hints at an artistic impulse that was expressed several years later in his painting. In 1983, after a 20-year hiatus, Rose returned to his love of painting. He quickly became well known for his work in watercolors. A full-time painter, he was awarded signature memberships in the prestigious American Watercolor Society (1993) and the National Watercolor Society (1999). On a national level, he created five paintings in 1999 for the U.S. Postal Service’s “All Aboard” stamp series and three Amtrak calendars (1997, 1998, and 1999) plus an illustration for Amtrak’s on-board magazine. Ted Rose died of cancer in 2002. The world lost a prolific artist who painted more than 1,000 paintings in less than 20 years. He continued painting right up to his final illness. Obituaries ran across the country, from the Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times. Rose’s photographs in concert with his paintings demonstrate that the painter was also a photographer. He perceived a vibrant world both through the camera and on canvas. This collection is a tribute to creative efforts made throughout his life. Rose’s photography remains largely unknown. He presented the photos only twice locally in Santa Fe in the 1970s. Artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Laura Gilpin, and Otto Kuhler were among the guests at the first exhibit’s opening. *Previous Venues* Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden, Colorado, February 3 through December 2020 Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Decatur, Alabama, September 25 through November 11, 2017 Oliver Jensen Gallery, Valley Railroad Company, Essex, Connecticut, May 27 through October 30, 2016 Ford Center for Fine Arts, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, June 10 through mid-August 2015 O. Winston Link Museum, Roanoke, Virginia, Spring 2009 Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, 2008 California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, November 2, 2006 through January 14, 2007 Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 8 through May 9, 2006 *Contact* To book a showing or get more information, get in touch with the Center at 608-251-5785 or send an email to info [at] railphoto-art [dot] org.

    latest works

    • Railroads and the American Industrial Landscape: Ted Rose Paintings and Photographs
    • Ted Rose

      Through Freight, 1998
      watercolor
    • Ted Rose

      Richmond Mail, 1998
      watercolor
    • Ted Rose

      Go With The Flow, 2000
      # Watercolor
    • Ted Rose, ca. 1960
    • Ted Rose

      Engine #2838, 1958
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Valve Gear and Rods of Pacific #2519, 1960
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Roundhouse , 1957
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Engine in Motion, 1960
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , 1961
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , Undated
      h = 40 inch
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Road Engine , 1959
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , 1959
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , 1958
      h = 40 inch
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Fireman , 1961
      h = 40 inch
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Roundhouse , 1959
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , 1961
      h = 40 inch
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , 1958
      h = 40 inch
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Untitled , 1959
      B&W silver gelatin photograph
    • Ted Rose

      Wayfreight , 1959
      B&W silver gelatin photograph