Art in the Age of Steam

A woman and child in 19th century French costume with railings and steam in the background

The Railway (The Gare Saint-Lazare) by Edouard Manet (1873 – French). Oil on canvas. Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of Horace Havemeyer in memory of his mother, Louisine W Havemeyer.

18 April 2008 - 10 August 2008

Free admission

This major exhibition captured the excitement of the steam train in art from the earliest days, through the boom years of Victorian railways to the end of the line in the 1960s.

Art in the Age of Steam was the most wide-ranging exhibition yet held to look at how artists responded to the extraordinary impact that steam trains had on landscape and society. It was one of the major highlights of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year.

Around 100 paintings, photographs, prints and drawings from some of the world’s greatest art collections came together in a dazzling display including works by Manet, Van Gogh, Pissarro, Hopper, Brandt and Stieglitz.

“Aboard these great machines, passengers travelled at faster speeds than ever before and notions of time and space were forever changed. Nothing has been done on this scale before - visitors are transported on an exhilarating journey in the company of some of the world’s great artists.” Julian Treuherz, Co-Curator and former Keeper of Galleries at the Walker

The exhibition was organised by the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. It will be staged at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art from 13 September 2008 to 18 January 2009.



Supported by Liverpool Culture Company as part of the 2008 European Capital of Culture Programme.

Sponsored by Merseytravel, supporting public art in Merseyside.

With additional support from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, the J.P. Jacobs Charitable Trust, Rex and Shirley Makin and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

This exhibition was made possible with the assistance of the Government Indemnity Scheme which is provided by DCMS and administered by MLA.


Rail tours in association with The Railway Touring Company

North Wales Coast Express

Cumbrian Mountain Express



Daily Telegraph


Exhibition catalogue (287 pp)

The exhibition catalogue is a beautiful and comprehensive guide to the exhibition, with lots of additional information. It has been very popular and consequently we now have just the hard back editions in stock. They are available at £35 plus postage and packing - for UK buyers this is £4. Given the cost of sending such a heavy book abroad ( a miniumum of £12) we are advising non-UK purchasers to buy the book in their own country. It is ISBN 978 0300 138 788.

All enquiries and orders should be sent via our contact system.