05
Jan
09

Exhibition: ‘Steam and Steel: The Photographs of O. Winston Link’ at George Eastman Museum, New York

Exhibition dates: 11th October 2008 – 25th January 2009

 

O. Winston Link. 'Hot Shot Eastbound, at the Iaeger Drive-In. W.V. Aug. 2, 1956'

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001)
Hot Shot Eastbound, at the Iaeger Drive-In. W.V. Aug. 2, 1956
1956
Gelatin silver print
O. Winston Link/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

Link pasted the plane into the negative at a later stage

 

 

I have to admit to a very large amount of admiration for this photographer. He is brilliant, simply the best photographer of trains and their cultural surrounds that the world has ever seen. He persevered within his photographic projects through thick and thin. I feel a special affinity toward this man as I love trains, planes, ships and trucks (although I am yet to use trains in my work).

As with all great photographers he pursued his goals with passion, a unique eye and the ability to produce a ‘signature’ photograph that could only be his. His photographs are timeless remembrances of the history and culture of the era. The above image combines all the elements of 1950s America – the drive in, the couple, the speed, the convertible car, night and the ambiguous slightly sinister rocket like plane. Planes, trains and automobiles are the stuff of legend for me, a child of the 1950s. The lighting of the train is incredible, with rows of flash set off at just the right moment. The precision and skill to do this and the resulting tableaux have few equals. When I first saw this image I was amazed and still am today!

O. Winston Link had a deep respect for the people and machines he was photographing – capturing a vanishing world before it all but disappeared. Thank god there was someone with vision and foresight to accomplish this task so that these incredible and indelible images will forever transcend the time in which they were taken, to give joy to the people that look at them.

Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the George Eastman Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001) 'Maud Bows to the Virginia Creeper, Green Cove, Virginia, October 27, 1956'

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001)
Maud Bows to the Virginia Creeper, Green Cove, Virginia, October 27, 1956
1956
Gelatin silver print
15 1/2 x 19 3/8 in. (39.37 x 49.21 cm)
O. Winston Link/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

 

 

The Abingdon Branch of the N&W led Link to another approach in his documentation of the railroad. Since the trains did not run at night, all of the images had to be made in daylight, making this branch the source of many of his genre scenes and colour images. The branch was short but steep, including the highest point of any passenger train in the east. With top speeds of 25 mph, it earned the nickname “Virginia Creeper.”

Link found the slow pace and setting the most bucolic of the entire N&W system. He wrote, “There was beauty at every curve and every bridge.” The line crept by cascading waterways and across high wooden trestles. Although the entire branch was abandoned in 1978, the railbed has since become a hiking trail, with Green Cove the only station remaining and restored to the look of this photograph.

Text from the Akron Art Museum website

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001) '"Giant Oak," Max Meadows, Va., Dec. 30, 1957'

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001)
“Giant Oak,” Max Meadows, Va., Dec. 30, 1957
1957
Gelatin silver print
O. Winston Link/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

 

 

“Ogle Winston Link, known commonly as O. Winston Link, has been revered by many as the most important railroad photographer of all time. He is best known for his black-and-white photography and sound recordings of the last days of steam locomotive railroading in the United States in the late 1950s. A true American master, Link produced night-time photographs of the railroad over a five-year period that ended when the last steam locomotive of the Norfolk & Western Railway was taken out of service in May 1960.

This exhibition features more than 100 framed photographs as well as Link’s actual photographic and lighting equipment, plus his personal notebooks detailing set-ups, formulas, and exposure details.”

Text from the George Eastman Museum website

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001) 'NW1635, The Birmingham Special, arriving at Rural Retreat, Va.' 1957

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001)
NW1635, The Birmingham Special, arriving at Rural Retreat, Va.
1957
Gelatin silver print
O. Winston Link/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001) '"The Birmingham Special Crosses Bridge 201," near Radford, Va., Dec. 17, 1957'

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001)
“The Birmingham Special Crosses Bridge 201,” near Radford, Va., Dec. 17, 1957
1957
Gelatin silver print
O. Winston Link/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001) '"Second Pigeon Creek Shifter and Icicles," near Gilbert, W.Va., March 16, 1960'

 

O. Winston Link (American, 1914-2001)
“Second Pigeon Creek Shifter and Icicles,” near Gilbert, W.Va., March 16, 1960
1960
Gelatin silver print
O. Winston Link/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

 

Unknown photographer. '"Link Sets Up Two View Cameras at Bridge 8," Watauga, Va., Nov. 1, 1957'

 

Unknown photographer
“Link Sets Up Two View Cameras at Bridge 8,” Watauga, Va., Nov. 1, 1957
1957
Gelatin silver print
Thomas H. Garver/© Conway Link
Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum

 

 

George Eastman Museum
900 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, USA

Opening hours:
Tuesday 10 am-5 pm
Wednesday 10 am-5 pm
Thursday 10 am-5 pm
Friday 10 am-5 pm
Saturday 10 am-5 pm
Sunday 11 am-5 pm
Closed Mondays

O. Winston Link Museum

George Eastman House website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top


1 Response to “Exhibition: ‘Steam and Steel: The Photographs of O. Winston Link’ at George Eastman Museum, New York”


  1. June 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    He is the best photographer of trains ever. He lived in my town.

    On the day he passed away he got up, went down to the Katonah train station and passed away sitting in his car watching the trains come and go. He was also the patron of The Blazer Pub in Purdys. He didn’t like the chairs there so he actually provided the pub with his own desired chair that was always his when he wanted to dine there.

    A darker story is that he was taken advantage of by his wife who locked him in the upper part of their house and began to sell his original negatives. He called down to people who came to the house (to purchase) that his wife was holding him hostage. She explained that he was entering into senility (or alzheimers) and to pay no attention. He was fortunate in that eventually one of the purchasers did not believe her and notified the police.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Études’ 1994

Join 2,399 other followers

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Lastest tweets

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

January 2009
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Archives

Categories


%d bloggers like this: