Great Northern Railway
By Robert Cottingham
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Medium: enamel on cut-out steel
Edition size: One, Unique
Image size: 51" × 71½" inches
Sheet size: 51" × 71½" inches
Price: $75000 (excl. taxes)
The Greater Hartford Transit District owns and operates Union Station in Hartford. When the station was renovated in the 1980s, Robert Cottingham, a well known American artist, created enamel panels of (12) Railroad Heralds for the station. These enamel panels hung in the Station’s Transportation center for almost 30 years. The panels are aluminum not steel, thus much lighter.
The panels are enamel screen printed onto metal and are 71.5 by 51.5 inches in size. Each herald is a depiction of a different railroad logo including the B & O, Erie, Great Northern Railway, New Haven, Nickel Plate Road, Northern Pacific Railway, New York Central System, Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading Lines, Rock Island, Sante Fe, and Union Pacific.
The Smithsonian Art Museum (American Art, Volume 12, Number 2, Heroic Relics, the Prints of Robert Cottingham, Jaquelyn Days Server) had this to say about the development of the heralds:
For the first group of paintings and prints in the train series, Cottingham used railroad logos, or heralds as they are called in railroad jargon, as his new thematic device. Cottingham exploited the inherent flatness of the design, abandoning the elaborate illusionism of his signature marquees and signs. By doing so, he could concentrate almost exclusively on graphics and color relationships. The logos also serve, like the signs, as emblems of America. The photos that inspired the railroad imagery were taken in the late 1970s when Cottingham was still traveling in search of his more familiar urban subject matter:
While photographing signs in a small border town of Texas, I found I had wandered into an open freight yard occupied by a single boxcar, its side emblazoned with the Sante Fe logo. Eight years later, I painted Santa Fe, a 78 x 78 inch canvas that became the genesis for…the Rolling Stock Series.
Cottingham sees the Heralds as the transition between the "advertising signage of the Facades" and the "industrial grittiness" of his subsequent railroad pictures.
There are some minor condition issues, however excellent condition for being on public display for over twenty years.
We have the complete set of twelve panels available. The panels are aluminum not steel., thus much lighter.