Saturday, July 6 3:00 PM
“My mule enjoyed the joke”
A.J. Russell’s Western Adventures
Andrew J. Russell took nearly 1,000 photographs of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868 and 1869. Today his photographs are analyzed as art, as historical evidence, and as cultural objects. But who was he as a person? Daniel Davis, author of Across the Continent: the Union Pacific Photographs of Andrew J. Russell, will discuss Russell’s background and personality and how that influenced the photographs he took. Davis will examine Russell’s images as well as contemporary sources and explain how he came to the conclusion that Russell was, “an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events.”
Daniel Davis grew up in Worland, Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming earning a master’s degree in history in 1997. He worked as the photograph archivist at the American Heritage Center in Laramie before becoming the photograph curator with the Special Collections & Archives Department at Utah State University. His research interest is 19th Century photography of the American West. In 2018 he published Across the Continent: the Union Pacific Railroad Photographs of Andrew J. Russell. As well, he was a co-author with Glenn Willumson and Ken Burns for Race To Promontory: Picturing the First Transcontinental Railroad. His exhibit, “A World Transformed: the Transcontinental Railroad and Utah” opened in the Utah State Capitol on January 23, 2019.