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The Collection of the O. Winston Link Museum is certainly focused on the Norfolk and Western project. Link captured the last days of steam operation on the N&W Railway in the late 1950s, but within the walls of these Galleries, our visitors experience much more than just photographs. This collection is more than trains and rail operations. The images created by Link are vignettes into history and sociology. They are art; they are a part of the history of photography and they are a tool to share an era with every person.
Winston Link captured the sounds and sights of the powerful locomotives and the communities along the rail. Become immersed in the auditory and visual experience as you hear and see the engines struggling up a grade or passing through towns. See and hear Jimbo, the Hound of Husk howls a greeting as the trains roar through Husk, North Carolina.
The Norfolk and Western project is the basis of the Museum, but as viewers travel through our seven Galleries, each area brings new knowledge and different perceptions. Our Galleries are designed to showcase a complete awareness of the time-period and the context in which Winston worked.
The Roanoke gallery uses historic images, artifacts and film to introduce the N&W Railway and the impact it had on the communities along the lines. At the start of this Gallery, be sure to learn more about the powerful locomotives built here in Roanoke at the East End Shops. The Western end of the Roanoke Gallery introduces you to the life of Winston Link and the N&W project, and his commercial photography work. The Heritage Gallery is a location to stop and reflect on the community life of the Railroad. Enjoy the artifacts preserved in the recreated Austin's Vesuvius Country Store as photographed by Winston Link in 1956.
In the Radford Gallery, the names of towns along the top of each wall detail stops along the Abingdon Branch of the N&W Railway. The photographs in this gallery showcase the spectacular views and people along the line. Look through the view camera in the center of the room to see the world as Link did. Visitors to the Museum will be surprised to see the daytime and color images in this Gallery. Because the Abingdon Branch ran only during daylight hours, and because Link was drawn to the vibrant fall colors, many of his color photographs were made here.
The Shenandoah Gallery focuses on life along the railway. In this room, as with the other photographic galleries, you will see the names of stops along the Shenandoah line from Roanoke, Virginia to Hagerstown, Maryland. An interactive diorama allows you to control the lighting of a scene to build the final image. Also on display is a showcase of Link's original photographic equipment, everything from his numbered carrying cases to reflectors, power boxes; flash bulbs to cameras.
The Pocahontas Gallery features the people and the machines that made up the N&W Railway. As in the Radford Gallery and Shenandoah Galleries, names of stops along the Pocahontas line compliment the walls of this gallery. Notice the steam whistle and locomotive bell in the center of this Gallery. Photographs of brakemen, conductors, and the men who made this project possible are displayed here.
The Scioto Gallery displays published works relating to Link and includes listening and viewing stations. At these stations, you can hear the recordings and view the works done by Link during the N&W project.
All images contained on these pages are protected under copyright law and usage is strictly limited. For usage inquiries, please contact Museum staff.