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Railroad Museum Selected as Venue for Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s First-Ever “Conversations West 2018” Regional Conference

Event Coincides with Debut of Exhibition Titled “Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy”

In partnership with California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art will hold their first-ever western regional conference -- Conversations West 2018 -- at the Railroad Museum on September 21-22, 2018. The conference will offer a full day of presentations about railroad photography and art focusing specifically on the American West. The conference will also serve as a kick-off event for the Center’s new exhibition titled Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy, as well as for festivities surrounding the upcoming 150th anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad.

Registration for Conversations West 2018 is open to the public for $95, with a student rate of $50. Those interested in supporting the Center’s mission to preserve and present significant images of railroading can register as a patron for a slightly higher fee. This additional support helps offset travel costs for presenters and other operational fees relating to programming. Registration is available online by visiting:

Event activities will begin the evening of Friday, September 21, with an opening reception to highlight the debut of the photography exhibition that showcases Lucius Beebe (1902-1966) and Charles Clegg (1916-1979) who were instrumental in introducing railroad photography and the world of railroading to a wide audience. The opening for Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy is free and open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. with appetizers, refreshments and a cash bar for those interested.

After the opening reception of the exhibition, the conference will officially begin on Saturday, September 22. With registration and refreshments at 8 a.m., the conference will start at 9 a.m. Following the last presentation that ends at 5:45 p.m., the Center will host a reception in the Museum’s Roundhouse Gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. Included with the registration package, appetizers, refreshments, and a cash bar will be available to conference attendees.

Saturday features an exciting roster of dynamic presenters, including:
• Sacramento resident Shirley Burman Steinheimer will showcase the Southern Pacific Railroad through her own photography as well as that of her late husband, Richard Steinheimer, often referred to as “the Ansel Adams of railroad photography”
• Ted Benson and Tom Taylor will share stories and captivating black-and-white photography from their early days of exploring California’s railroads together in the 1960s and 1970s
• Artist J. Craig Thorpe will present his paintings and thoughts on the role of railroad art in the 21st century
• John Gruber and John Ryan will discuss their new book about the lives and photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg
• John Signor will showcase his spectacular paintings of the American rail industry, with a focus on western lines
• Richard Koenig will introduce the Center’s After Promontory transcontinental railroad project through his recent photography
After the conference, the Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy exhibition will remain on display in the Museum’s Transcontinental Gallery at least through December 31, 2018. More information about the Center for Railroad Photography & Art can be found at, and more information about the California State Railroad is available by calling 916-323-9280 or visiting

California State Railroad Museum

Event Dates