Artwork Related Railroad Books
This book list features art based books that focuses on the influence of railroads in art. The books range from covering a single famous artist’s works like Ted Rose to documenting American history through the railroad art of the time. Many of the books below focus on historical works when railroads were more prominent and commonplace then they are today. The book Stations takes a different angle and is based on a fictional railroad that appears to operate in the mountains of the eastern United States. My favorite book in the group is In the Traces as many of paintings featured in the book have a moody feel that play off low ambient light lit scenes.
How to Use
This Railroad Artwork book list is subject to change as more books are added. All the titles on this list I have personally viewed or I own. Below each title is a list of information about the book. This information comes from my copies, as other versions may exist. Photographs: This describes if the book contains a variety of color and/or black and white images. Main Image Style: This describes the images in the book being more traditional in nature or dramatic or artistic. Content: This will let the reader know what they should expect regarding how much text is in the book. Text means there are pages of writing and captions indicate that text is limited. Recommended: A 1/10 scale of my personal rating of the book. This is based off the overall quality and value the book has to me. Many factors come into play including photos, print quality, size, layout, content, page count, and how well it covers it’s subject.
Recommended | 10/10
In the Traces presents 60 paintings by Ted Rose, with commentary by the artist. The works are an eloquent and absorbing view of industrial America, especially of railroads as an integral part of the man-made landscape.
Here is the rich narrative of a journey of discovery that began 50 years ago when Rose confronted changes everywhere during the time railroads and the country were in transition. His paintings are a record of his continuing fascination with railroad places, a visual anthology of past and present.These masterful watercolors well describe the atmosphere and life along the tracks during the last half of the 20th century.
Rose finds beauty in the commonplace — the common places of our experience and in the back alleys of a reality we thought we knew so well. These expressive works are visual documents, informed by the rhythmic idiom of blues music and the poignant song of railroad operations in winter bleakness, blazing sun, or darkest night. The artist’s empathy with his subjects, human and mechanical, is given through a brilliantly controlled technique which Rose deftly adjusts to match the nature of a scene, from the soft light of dawn on the prairie to the harsh glare of headlights and signal lights atmidnight. Although his works evoke the look of earlier American realist paintings, Rose’s knowledge of subject matter and his often unorthodox use of the watercolor medium support his narrative purposes without reference to other artists. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 9.5/10
A Virginia farmer narrates the story of his family and of the railroad that has shaped the lives and fates of his family for generations, chronicling the history of the railroad through a collection of evocative photographs. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 10/10
Steam locomotives gripped the imagination when they first appeared in 19th-century Europe and America. Aboard these great machines, passengers traveled at faster speeds than ever before while watching the scenery transform itself and take on new forms. Common notions of time and space were forever changed.
Through vivid illustrations and engaging texts, The Railway: Art in the Age of Steam captures both the fear and excitement of early train travel as it probes the artistic response to steam locomotion within its social setting. Featuring paintings, photography, prints, and posters, the book includes numerous masterpieces by 19th- and 20th-century artists, including J. M. W. Turner, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Charles Sheeler, and Edward Hopper.
With its wide variety of themes—landscape painting, the conquest of the West, Impressionism, issues of social class, Modernism, the aesthetics of the machine, and environmental concerns—this work promises an exhilarating journey for both train and art enthusiasts and for anyone interested in one of the industrial age’s defining achievements. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 9.5/10
A thoroughly revised and expanded successor to Alfred Runte’s Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks, this new edition now includes protected landscapes and historical sites east of the Mississippi made possible or influenced by railroads: the Hudson River Valley; Delaware Water Gap; Harpers Ferry; Indiana Dunes; Gettysburg; Steamtown; and the Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, and Acadia National Parks. Illustrated with paintings, posters, photographs, and artifacts from major libraries and public archives, as well as America’s railroads and the author’s private collection, this book is a sight to behold as well as a wonderful, nostalgic armchair read. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 8/10
Travel back to the wonder years of rail in this beautiful compendium of art and illustration. Through luggage labels, maps, posters, advertisements, promotional brochures, napkins, and other colorful ephemera, All Aboard! celebrates our romance with the railroad. Its pages provide a nostalgic look at rail travel as it used to be, from the exciting early days at the turn of the century through its heyday in the ’30s and through World War II. Lynn Johnson and Michael O’Leary have collected hundreds of period images, from Deco-era logos that evoke the sleek, streamlined style of the day to wartime propaganda posters highlighting the muscularity of freight locomotives that transported weapons and tanks for American troops. All Aboard! also explores the art of the Orient Express and great European lines, the rugged rails of Canada, and exotic points abroad. This exciting new resource for train enthusiasts and everyone on the lookout for terrific images recreates the splendor of the modern locomotive era. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 8/10
The Center for Railroad Photography and Art published this catalog from the exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, placing Rose’s work in a broader historic context. Includes all twenty-seven watercolor paintings and twenty-two photographs that appeared in the exhibition, along with essays by museum director and curator Curtis L. Carter and writer/artist Jeff Brouws. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 8.5/10
Essays on paintings, prints, and photographs explore the wealth of railroad imagery in American art. Read Customer Reviews
Recommended | 7.5/10
Interpretive book produced in conjunction with an exhibit at the Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, Massachusetts. Read Customer Reviews
About the Author
Travis Dewitz is a professional photographer located out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He has been published in many books and magazines including many in the railroad industry. He does a lot of photography work and environmental portraitures for many companies and heavy industries in and around Wisconsin. He has grown up with trains and railroads are one of his passions that he pursues. His railroad photography can be seen on his website The Railroad Collection.
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