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Whistle Stop

Painting by Robert Addison
A retrospective, generic painting of a New York Central freight train passing through a "Whistle Stop" on a snowy winter day, probably intended to be around 1940. The engineer waives to the crossing-gate operator, who raises his heavily mittened arm in salute. A posh green car waits on the right for the trainn to pass, and a lighted window, with shade askew, shows in the station on the right. A smoke plume and a steam plume escape from the locomotive, and snow blows horizontally from the locomotive and tender, indicating speed. In the background, a mansardic, red-brick commercial structure appears, with the suggestion that it was a railroad hotel from the 1870s.

Robert Addison occasionally painted commercially as an illustrator for railroads.

A thoughtfully composed work of art, well balanced in color and elements. The palette is surprisingly rich, with grays, yellows, whites, greens, reds, and browns. The smoke, steam, arms, and blowing snow provide unexpected motion.You can feel the small town in late afternoon in winter. Addison drew his figures in a regionalist style, appropriate for a midwestern artist.
Source Mrs. Robert Addison, Chicago, Illinois
Coverage Spatial, unknown; Temporal, c. 1940
Rights Mrs. Robert Addison
Date Created 1974
Resource Type
Extent 13-5/8 x 22-3/4 in.
Depicted Railroad
Location Fictional
Creator Description Robert Addison was born in Boise, Idaho, but moved to Chicago as a young man to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He made his life thereafter in the city, and eventually worked at the Ficho & Corley art studio in the John Hancock Building (where he also lived) in the 1970s and 1980s. He was well-known for his nostalgic paintings of neighborhoods and carousels, and he also provided art for advertising.
Collection Robert Addison Collection
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