Trains That Passed in the Night: Railroad Photographs of O. Winston Link will be on display at the Grohmann Museum, 1000 N. Broadway, from Jan. 17 through April 27, 2014.
Organized by Thomas H. Garver and produced in collaboration with the Center for Railroad Photography and Art in Madison (www.railphoto-art.org), this exhibition features 36 framed, original prints signed by the photographer. O. Winston Link, a Brooklyn, New York, native and commercial photographer became well-recognized for his complex images of factory and industrial plant interiors. For Link, the steam railroad was a vital ingredient to “the good life’ in America, an essential part of the fabric of our lives. It is this quality—of life, not machinery—which he captures so artfully in his photographs.
Link’s photographs showcase the final years of steam railroading on the Norfolk & Western Railway, the last major railroad in America to operate exclusively with steam power. They are regarded as one of the best records of this long vanished type of locomotion, yet the broad appeal of Link’s photographs is derived not so much from the images of the steam locomotives themselves, but from the way in which their inclusion expresses the photographer’s deeply felt respect for the quality of life that the steam railroad reflected and supported for so many years in the United States.
A special Gallery Night and Day Event will be held to celebrate the opening of the exhibition. The museum will extend its hours on Friday, Jan. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. and offer free admission. Garver, the curator of the exhibition, will give a presentation at 7 p.m. The museum is also offering free admission on Saturday, Jan. 18 from noon to 6 p.m.
The Grohmann Museum is home to the Man at Work collection, which comprises more than 900 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present. They reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects that document the evolution of organized work: from farming and mining to trades such as glassblowing and seaweed gathering. The Grohmann Museum welcomes visitors to three floors of galleries where a core collection is displayed as well as themed exhibitions. The museum is owned by MSOE, an independent university with about 2,600 students. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the engineering, business, mathematics and nursing fields.