• Andrew Russell, East and West Shaking Hands at Laying of the Last Rail. 1869. Albumen print, Courtesy Union Pacific Railroad.
    The Race to Promontory
    The Transcontinental Railroad and the American West
    June 23, 2019 — September 29, 2019

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This exhibition celebrates the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, when the Central Pacific and its eastern counterpart, the Union Pacific, were joined by a golden spike. Two photographers, Andrew Joseph Russell for the Union Pacific and Alfred A. Hart for the Central Pacific, documented the railroad's challenging path through mountains and plains. Their original photographs and stereoviews, as well as archival materials relating to the Promontory Summit ceremony, will provide a new view into this transformative event, which allowed Sacramento — and E. B. Crocker — to prosper.

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Related Programs

All Aboard! Free Community Open House
Sunday, June 23

Teacher Workshop: The Transcontinental Railroad & the American West
Friday, July 26

Art History: Photography & the American West, 1860 – 1900
Thursday, August 1

Look & Learn Tour: Andrew Russell, East and West Shaking Hands at Laying of Last Rail
Tuesday, August 6

The Old West From Photo to Painting
Three Tuesdays, August 13 – 27

Jazz Night: Choo Choo Boogaloo
Thursday, August 22

Look & Learn Tour: Andrew Russell, East and West Shaking Hands at Laying of Last Rail
Thursday, August 22

Conversations That Matter: Immigration
Thursday, August 29

Guest Lecture: Glenn Willumson, on Photographing the Transcontinental Railroad
Saturday, September 7


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World-renowned trombonist, composer, arranger, and producer Wayne Wallace rocks the stage with his Grammy-nominated Latin Jazz Quartet.

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Burn out the night and get ready for the party on the playa during this evening of radical self-expression.

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