“Requiem for Steam” New Exhibit at the Naples Depot Museum

“Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden”

The Naples Depot Museum and the Center for Railroad Photography & Art Present Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden, a New Traveling Exhibition Opening January 14, 2021 at the Naples Depot Museum

In conjunction with renowned photographer David Plowden, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art produced Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden, to commemorate his book of the same name (W.W. Norton, 2010). Plowden traces his fascination with railway steam power back to his earliest memories. As a five-year-old boy, he was mesmerized by the view from his family’s apartment in Manhattan of steamboats plying the East River. He frequently traveled behind steam locomotives on railroads throughout New England, and later, across most of the U.S. and Canada.

It was through this pursuit of photographing locomotives that Plowden hit upon the notion of becoming a photographer. He worked as an apprentice to O. Winston Link and studied with Minor White and Nathan Lyons before striking off on his own. In 1959-60, he pursued the end of steam on the Canadian Pacific Railway, having been granted open access to the entire system. His devotion took him to the most far-flung reaches of the CPR’s Atlantic Region. Here he quite literally bore witness to some of the last breaths of steam on North American mainlines.

After the advent of diesel locomotives’ dominance, Plowden trained his cameras on myriad facets of American industry and infrastructure. Through all Plowden’s career, the railroad has remained a common thread. The photographs in Requiem for Steam preserve the living beauty of Plowden’s beloved locomotives. They show the railroad’s presence in the ever-changing American landscape. See in them the power of the steam locomotive, the pride of railroad men, and the lasting imprint of steel rails across the continent.

David Plowden is an American photographer that made historical documentary photography of urban cities, steam trains, American farmlands, and small towns. Plowden produced over twenty books. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress.

For Exhibit Information:

Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden was created by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. The exhibit will be on view through April 16, 2021. For more information about the Requiem for Steam, please contact the museum at (239) 252-8419 or visit www.colliermuseums.com/exhibits

About the Naples Depot

Set in Naples’ first passenger train station, the restored Naples Depot Museum takes visitors back to Florida’s railroading heydays of the Roaring Twenties. It tells how technology and transportation helped Naples grow from a village of 300 souls to today’s glittering Gulf Coast resort.

About the Center for Railroad Photography & Art

The Center, a not-for-profit arts and education organization, achieves its mission through exhibitions, conferences, and publications that spring from its core commitment to collect, preserve, and then make widely available imagery that portrays the nearly 200-year history of railroads.

While based in Madison, Wisconsin, the Center does not maintain a museum space or large facilities, but instead collaborates on its many projects with individuals and institutions ranging from museums and universities to libraries and historical societies. This approach allows the Center to focus on railroad imagery and the profound and moving stories it can tell.

About Collier County Museums

 More than 10,000 years of Southwest Florida History are on display at Collier County Museums’ five locations – the main museum is located in Naples. There are four additional museum facilities in Everglades City and Immokalee, the historic Naples Depot, a former train station and local favorite in the heart of downtown Naples, and the Marco Island Historical Museum.

Admission to all the museums is free and the sites are handicapped accessible. For more information, visit www.colliermuseums.com or call (239) 252-8476.

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