The O. Winston Link Museum, dedicated to the historic photography of O. Winston Link, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a weekend of events open to the public Jan. 24-25.
The celebration includes free admission to the museum, model railroad displays, children’s activities, costumed re-enactors, and appearances by subjects in Link’s famous photos and the famous Norfolk & Western 1218 steam locomotive. Also on tap – tours of operations at Norfolk Southern Corp. and FreightCar America and a nighttime photography workshop with the 1218.
The “Link @ 10” event celebrates a pioneer in railroad photography widely considered the master of juxtaposition between steam railroading and rural culture – and the museum’s decade-long contributions to a revitalized downtown Roanoke and growing arts and cultural scene.
“The anniversary and activities to celebrate the milestone provide an opportunity to note the museum’s achievements over the past decade, its place in the role of America’s museums and how Link’s work remains timeless even in the age of instant-gratification photography,” said museum director Mike McNeil. “The allure of the museum extends far beyond the spirit of camaraderie felt by lovers of old steam locomotives. The Link is not only devoted to the historic photography of O. Winston Link, but to all fine photography that tells a story of our heritage and our social ethos, connecting us with our past and capturing the essence of who we are today.”
Friday, Jan. 24 (evening):
The celebration gets under way on in the evening of Jan. 24, when the Link Museum unveils two special exhibits:
· Twenty-four never-before-seen commercial images from Link’s formative years.
· A collection of lithographs and original sketches from famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy, including designs for a hydrofoil, Air Force One and other concept sketches.
The venerable 1218, permanently housed at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, makes its appearance on the rails outside the Link museum around 4 p.m., remaining on site through Saturday afternoon.
Nighttime photo shoot and workshop
Budding photographers will get a chance to shoot like Link when Casey Thomasson, Norfolk Southern’s corporate photographer, hosts a workshop and photo shoot of the iconic 1218 locomotive. From 9 p.m.-midnight the public will get a chance to capture nighttime images. Five of the best photos will be chosen from Instagram and featured at the Saturday night gala event. The workshop is $25. Sign up by Jan. 23 by calling 540-982-5465.
On Saturday, Jan. 25, the museum will host a free celebration for the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the museum, inside the former Norfolk & Western Passenger Station. In addition to special activities outlined above, including free admission and activities for people of all ages.
Rail facility tours:
The Link Museum is pleased to arrange behind-the-scenes tours of operations at Norfolk Southern and FreightCar America. At 11 a.m. on Saturday a bus leaves the museum for NS’s Shafer’s Crossing and Hump operations. At 2 p.m., visitors get to see NS’s East End Shops and FreightCar America’s rail car manufacturing center. Both tours are $5 per person and are limited to 30 people.
That evening, the Link will be honoring its donors, supporters and patrons at a private gala event with people who knew Link and worked with him. Among the scheduled speakers is Charles “Wick” Moorman, chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern Corp.
The museum’s ever-expanding and revolving exhibits feature the works of many regional, national and internationally renowned photographers and provide further opportunities for dialogue on the art and media of photography, particularly in this age of smart-phone snapshots. A pop-up exhibit throughout the weekend will highlight the many changes at the museum over its first decade.
The anniversary event also celebrates the many improvements to the museum over the decade to stay relevant to a new generation of museum-goers. These have included:
· The Heritage Gallery, a place to stop and reflect on the community life of the railroad.
· Kulp Trackside Gallery.
· Link’s darkroom equipment.
· The Raymond Loewy Gallery, which chronicles the life and career of the industrial designer who redesigned the Roanoke Norfolk & Western passenger station in the late 1940s – today’s home for the museum.
· Link’s former caboose.
· Scioto Gallery, which displays published works relating to Link and includes listening and viewing stations.
· Multiple models in lobby.