KANSAS CITY, MO.- A major international exhibition opening this fall at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960, will capture the excitement and range of emotions that steam-powered trains elicited as railroads reshaped culture around the world. The exhibition, open from Sept. 13 through Jan. 18, 2009, will feature more than 100 paintings, prints, drawings and photographs drawn from 64 museums and private collections.
Art in the Age of Steam is the most wide-ranging exhibition ever assembled of American and European works of art responding to the drama of the railroad, from the earliest days when steam trains churned across the landscape through the romance of the Victorian era to the end of the line in the 1960s.
In light of Kansas Citys historic position as a railway town, this exhibition has strong local resonance. At the same time, it captures the international fascination with the steam train as both an inspiration for art and a life-changing experience for the world at large, said Marc F. Wilson, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director/CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. It is especially fitting that the exhibition arrives from Liverpool, another city with transportation at the core of its modern history.
Among the works of art are Modern and Impressionist masterpieces, including Edouard Manets The Railway, Claude Monets Gare Saint-Lazare and Gustave Caillebottes On the Pont de lEurope. The exhibition features works that span a variety of styles, from an early lithograph by John Cooke Bourne, No. 1 Tunnel, to Edward Hoppers modern Railroad Sunset, and Thomas Hart Bentons The Wreck of the Ole 97. Photography, which also came of age during the rise of steam trains, is represented with works by Alfred Steiglitz, Charles Sheeler, André Kertész and O. Winston Link.