The Railway

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Art in the Age of Steam

Ian Kennedy and Julian Treuherz; With essays by Matthew Beaumont and Michael Freeman

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $45.00
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A fascinating account of how the railway influenced more than a century of art in Europe and America

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.

Ian Kennedy is Louis L. and Adelaide C. Ward Curator, European Painting and Sculpture at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Julian Treuherz was formerly Keeper of Art Galleries, National Museums Liverpool. Matthew Beaumont is Lecturer in 19th-Century English and American Literature at University College London. Michael Freeman is Supernumerary Fellow and Lecturer in Human Geography at Mansfield College, Oxford University.


Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool (April 18 – August 10, 2008)

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (September 13, 2008 – January 18, 2009)

"For anyone who likes trains or historical painting and photography, this book is a winner."—John Linsenmeyer, The Greenwich Times

"Beautiful. . . . [This] is not just a fine museum catalogue, but a truly comprehensive study of the impact of railways on society as recorded by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century painters and photographers."—Barrymore Laurence Scherer, Antiques

"This book's range, quality and craftsmanship astonished me. I'm not alone in my fascination with rails and engines, but even if you have only a casual interest, I defy you to be nonchalant about the contents. . . . The pictorial history here is very compelling. . . . Highly recommended."—Kansas City Star

"The Railway captures the excitement, awe and dread that locomotives inspired in their heyday, among artists as well as the general public. . . . It should satisfy rabid trainspotters and art lovers alike."—Sheila Gibson Stoodley, Art & Antiques

"This comprehensive and superbly illustrated book is the last word on railway-related art, and will appeal equally to anyone building an art library and to collectors of railroad memorabilia."—Linda Rosenkrantz, Metroplitan News-Enterprise

"This large, attractive exhibition catalogue presents an impressive range of mostly European and American images (many unfamiliar) of steam locomotives, track, bridges, and passengers—from the early 19th century up to around 1960. Accessible essays by curators Kennedy and Treuherz offer perceptive analysis and helpful background. . . .  Over 200 excellent illustrations enhance this superb overview of a fascinating subject. Highly recommended."—Choice

“[An] attractive survey … Kennedy and Treuherz have created a readable, generalist art history of artists’ responses to steam locomotion … [with an] extensive array of illustrations … the book will surely provide rich pickings for readers seeking works by artists of whom they were previously unaware, or whose work in this genre has not been reproduced extensively.” - Julian Freeman, The Art Book

"The Railway: Art in the Age of Steam is a beautifully mapped journey. . . .[It] deserves critical attention and a place in a vast bibliography on the subject."—Laura L. Meixner, College Art Association

"Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated. . . . Kennedy and Treuherz have collected an impressively broad range of images."—Kenneth John Myers, Winterthur Portfolio
ISBN: 9780300138788
Publication Date: June 5, 2008
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, and Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool
288 pages, 11 x 10
48 b/w + 210 color illus.
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