Paintings showing Canada’s railway history on display at Revelstoke Railway Museum

The Works of Art: Cherished Memories of a Father’s Career exhibit until end of year

There’s a new local exhibit showcasing major historical railway constructions across Canada through paintings.

“These paintings are really unique. They surpass the hard cement and steel of what were, for their time, major engineering and construction achievements. They also portray the human and natural aspects of these projects in ways that photographs rarely do,” said Laura VanZant, curator of the Revelstoke Railway Museum, in a news release. “Major projects are often documented in photographs, but artistic depictions and interpretations of them are rare.”

The Works of Art: Cherished Memories of a Father’s Career exhibit was created by ExpoRail in Montreal. It features over 24 paintings by Alice Macredie of major construction projects, which her father played a pivotal role in building. Her father, James Macredie, was a CPR District Engineer whose career highlights included construction of the Lethbridge Viaduct (Lethbridge), Connaught Tunnel (Rogers Pass), Bassano Dam (Bassano) and South Saskatchewan River Bridge (Edmonton).

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Alice Macredie’s work was painted in the 1970s. The paintings combine her talent and memories to capture the people who worked on these projects, the hard work they invested in Canada’s railway, and the landscapes they traversed in order to complete their feats of engineering, said a news release from the Revelstoke Railway Museum.

“Construction and expansion of Canada’s railways were some of our country’s earliest mega-projects.We take them for granted because they are now part of our landscape, yet we live in an age where major infrastructure projects are a regular news topic,” said Jim Cullen, executive director, in the release.

“Modern infrastructure projects challenge how we consider and balance their big-picture costs, impacts and benefits. So this exhibit is really timely and gives an artistic perspective on the challenge, hardship and complexity of railway construction in an earlier era.”

The exhibit will be on display from June 25 until the end of the year.

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