Railroad Vision (March 3 to June 23, 2002)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 5 to June 23, 2002
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Telegraph Office at Main Railroad Station, San Luis, Argentina
Jim Dow (American, born 1942)
San Luis, Argentina (Place created)
negative 1988; print 1996
40.6 x 51.2 cm (16 x 20 3/16 in.)
© Jim Dow
Gift of Nancy and Bruce Berman
The old-fashioned telegraph equipment, quartz clock, and bound ledger notebook in this railroad office suggest that this photograph was made long before the era of fax machines and computers, yet Jim Dow photographed the scene in 1988. Though an open ledger and a white coat casually hanging on a chair imply someone's recent presence, and unexpected departure, the vacant scene is replete with mystery. The image lacks any obvious connection to a particular place or to the railroad; the telegraph and clock, however, evoke the railroad's legacy as a driving force in the development of long distance communication and standardized time.