Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography, presented by Kevin Keefe
June 15 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Kevin Keefe, co-writer and editor of the publication Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography (Indiana University Press, 2018), celebrates the life and work of a man who devoted a fifty-year career to the railroad photography community. Keefe will present highlights from the book, which drew from Abbey’s collection of 25,000 black-and-white negatives held by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.
The presentation will chart Abbey’s career documenting the railroad industry. Beginning in the 1940s, Abbey masterfully combined journalistic and artistic vision to transform everyday moments in transportation into magical photographs. A photographer, journalist, historian, and railroad industry executive, he helped people from many different backgrounds understand and appreciate what was often taken for granted: a world of locomotives, passenger trains, big-city terminals, small-town depots, and railroaders. During his lifetime he witnessed and photographed sweeping changes in the railroad industry from the steam era to the era of diesel locomotives and electronic communication.
Kevin Keefe is the former vice-president-editorial for Kalmbach Publishing Co. He served as editor of Trains from 1992 to 2000. As a student at Michigan State, he worked on Pere Marquette steam locomotive no. 1225, and later authored a book about it.