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Trains that Pass in the Night

Trains that Pass in the Night

Artist: Otto Kuhler (American, born Germany, 1894 - 1977)
Date: 1975
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Image: 23 9/16 × 29 9/16 in. (59.8 × 75.1 cm)
Frame: 31 3/4 × 37 3/8 × 2 in. (80.6 × 94.9 × 5.1 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Otto August Kuhler, 1977
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 3656.23P
Description
Artist statement in regards to the painting: "Trains that pass in the night is the result of treasured memories more than half a century old, acquired during a long life with Railroads in Europe and America. Often it is based on flash impressions I have retained from the years when “Fine Art” was still limited to the presentation of more “lovely” subjects than the creation of energy by steam and fire. My family background of nearly three centuries with steam and steel patterned my future, linking my inborn artistic talent with unique experience of mechanical anatomy. Today this painting therefore deserves a detailed explanation: The Racing Ironmaster in the foreground thunders across a snow covered grade-crossing indicated by automobile tracks in the snow, while hauling a string of Pullman sleeping cars, while the opposite moving train in the background is of similar consist. Since in my days of designing streamlined trains I traveled much, the lighted window in the Pullman might have been my overnight quarter where many of my original thoughts were put on paper. A fleeting scene from a moving train window often engraved itself indelibly on my mind, often to be made into a painting many years later, but still long before an enthusiastic shutterbug could retain on film a scene as portrayed. While only snow deposits on ventilators of the clerestory as well as in the corners of the windows indicate the movement of the background train, it is even more pronounced by the underside illumination of the steam cloud, indicating that the fireman is opening the door (or doors) of the firebox. It is such attention to detailed observation that are necessary to create honest art." Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 7, 1975. Otto Kuhler.
Not on view