|California State Railroad Museum to Debut Second Set of "Wedlock's Gift" California Railroad Depot Sketches on August 3|
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California State Railroad Museum will debut the second set of 26 fascinating, documentary-style sketches beginning on Friday, August 3, as part of the continuing "Wedlock's Gift: California Railroad Depot Images in Ink" exhibit first displayed in September 2011. Commercial artist Walter J. Wedlock gifted the complete set of 52 drawings and one watercolor to the California State Railroad Museum in 1985 after seeing the collection together for the first time during a special exhibit. The second phase of "Wedlock's Gift: California Depot Images in Ink" exhibit will remain on display until March 4, 2013.
A few highlights of the second set of sketches include the following: the picturesque and charming Menlo Park station that opened in 1867 and still serves Caltrain commuters today; the Placentia station of the Santa Fe Railway, built in 1910, was the second that Wedlock drew and was demolished a week after he completed his sketch in 1971; and two stations in Fullerton built in 1922 and 1930 that are still standing today, one serving as a busy stop for Amtrak and Metrolink trains and the other of which has been moved and adapted for reuse as a restaurant.
Wedlock's quest to interpret many of California's disappearing historic railroad depots in brush and ink began in the 1970s, when he realized the depots that had once dotted the rail lines of California were in danger of being demolished due to the decline of rail passenger travel. Racing against time and the wrecking ball, Wedlock sketched his compelling images on-the-spot after tracking down various depots built primarily between the 1880s and the late 1930s. Wedlock did not concentrate on any one architectural style, railroad company or structure, but instead focused on capturing the unique personality of each historic railroad depot, many of which had been the center of their communities at an earlier time. While more than a third of the depots sketched by Wedlock have been demolished, many communities subsequently launched successful efforts to save their endangered depots. Today, many serve as museums or have changed to some other adaptive reuse. Happily, several are once again busy transportation centers for the communities they serve.
Each drawing in the "Wedlock's Gift: California Railroad Depot Images in Ink" exhibit will include information about the structure's heritage including the date it was built, the architectural style and building materials used, the railroad company with which it was associated, and whether the station still exists today and, if so, its current use.
For more information about this exhibit or other exhibits on display at the Museum, visit www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org or call (916) 445-6645.