Skip to content

Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell

May 4 – September 2, 2019

Travel back in time through Andrew J. Russell’s epic photography of the Transcontinental Railroad’s western expansion, completed 150 years ago in 1869. Though commissioned to document the railroad and its successful development, Russell’s photography reveals the tensions between the economic and technological advances and the Railroad’s significant impact on western lands and Native peoples. His powerful imagery highlights the majesty of the landscape with locomotive engines set amongst vast plains and colossal mountain ranges, captured through Russell’s remarkable technique using the collodion photographic process in remote locations.  

In this intimate exhibition, visitors will view rare vintage and digital prints, powerful landscape and 3D images, and original collodion negatives, as well as memorabilia, ephemera, and a video demonstrating the collodion process. Learn about Russell’s legacy as one of the most important photographers of the 19th century in this inspiring presentation of one of the most historic and controversial moments in American history.

Pushing West: The Photography of Andrew J. Russell is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and The Candelaria Fund. 

East and West Shaking Hands at Laying Last Rail
Shoshone Indians
Mormon Family, Great Salt Lake Valley
Castle Rock, Green River Valley
Temporary and Permanent Bridge, Green River, Citadel Rock in Distance
Hanging Rock, Foot of Echo Canon
Smith's Rock, Green River Valley