Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960"

"Museum is on the right track with paintings of railway perspectives" by ALICE THORSON, © The Kansas City Star, September 28, 2008. (News Article)

"A new special exhibition about the railroad at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art ... Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960 ... A large 1867 painting by Theodore Kaufmann shows Indians under cover of darkness sabotaging the rails in the face of an oncoming train. In truth, such acts were rare, and they were no match for the inexorable march of the white man’s progress. The passengers were not the target, Kennedy said. 'The Indians wanted provisions,' he explained. “They were starving because the buffalo were dying out.” Many of these artworks were commissioned by the railroads. Albert Bierstadt painted the 6-by-10-foot canvas 'Donner Lake From the Summit' (1873) for Collis P. Huntington, a director of the Central Pacific Railroad. Depicting the same site where the ill-fated Donner party was trapped by a snowstorm almost 20 years earlier, the work conveys the heroic scale of the railroad-building enterprise. ... A photograph by Andrew J. Russell, 'Wyoming Station Engine 23' (1868), shows the elk antlers that were mounted on the front of locomotives as a symbol of speed. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]