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O. Winston Link Museum 7/27/2018

by Chris Guenzler

Robin and I drove from the Virginia Transportation Museum over to our next stop of the trip in Roanoke.

O. Winston Link Museum

We went inside the building that used to be the Norfolk and Western station built in 1904.

The O. Winston Link Museum is a museum dedicated to the photography of O. Winston Link, the twentieth century railroad photographer widely considered the master of the juxtaposition between steam railroading and rural culture. He is most noted for his 1950's photographs of steam locomotives taken at night, lit by numerous flashbulbs. He carefully planned the lighting and the staging of these photos, placing human subjects in many.

Located in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, the museum is situated in a restored Norfolk & Western Railway passenger train station and opened in January 2004. The building is included in the Norfolk and Western Railway Company Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

It currently displays hundreds of photographic prints and has several interactive displays including audio that provide information on Link's photographic subjects. Also displayed are some of the equipment that Link employed to create his night time photographs.

Our visit.

We were met by two of the fine employees of the O. Winston Link Museum and the gentleman told Robin a brief background about this great man and then the outstanding lady gave us a private tour of this unique railroad photography museum.

There is this incredible wimdow painting in the windows that overlooks the former Norfolk and Western mainline along which Winston did his photography.

One of his greatest pictures.

A map showing the Norfolk and Western and the territory of Winston's photography.

Winston's private caboose.

The view towards the Norfolk Southern Roanoke Shops.

One of Winston's stitch photographs.

The gallery of faces.

Faces of the N&W.

More of the gallery of faces.

This display shows many color pictures of Winston's work. Now we will peruse his collection.

I am really enjoying this unique museum.

His photographic equipment.

More great images.

Winston's guide books for planning his photographs.

Some of his color work.

Even more of his great photography.

A suitcase for a family travelling to Roanoke.

To close out our visit and learn more about this great man, the two of us watched a film about the life of O. Winston Link which was very moving. We then went back upstairs and thanked our hosts for a fantastic time at this museum. Robin and I then drove to Clifton Forge and the next stop on this excellent trip we are living.