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John C. Wenrich locomotive painting

 Collection — Painting: 1
Identifier: RITArt-0113

Scope and Contents

The John C. Wenrich locomotive painting is a painting done by Wenrich in 1956 of a Pennsylvania Railroad Decaped Type Locomotive Class 1-1 from Altoona, Pennsylvania.


  • Creation: 1956-1956


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

John C. Wenrich (1894-1970) was born in Cumberland, MD on May 3, 1894, the son of a locomotive engineer. After finishing high school, Wenrich began working for an architectural firm in the Cumberland area. He considered studying for a career in architectural design, but had struggled with mathematics. Instead, he enrolled at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) in 1914, where he studied drawing and design. In 1916, Wenrich received the Wiltsie Water-Color prize, an award given annually to a student at RAMI. After two years, he moved to New York City where he spent a year at the Art Students League. Wenrich also studied for five months at the University of Toulouse in France, following two years of service in the U.S. Army during World War I.

When Wenrich returned to the United States, he accepted a position as an architectural illustrator at a Rochester-based firm, Gordon and Kaelber. He continued in this position until 1931, when he became an architectural renderer for the design team of Rockefeller Center in New York City. After a year of working as a freelance illustrator in Rochester, Wenrich began working for the New York World's Fair Board of Design. He served as an architectural illustrator for both the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs.

Wenrich returned to his alma mater several times as an instructor. From 1927-1930 he taught architectural rendering, free-hand drawing, and composition at RAMI. Then, in 1947 he joined RAMI's (now known as the Rochester Institute of Technology) faculty as a part-time instructor. He is best remembered for his work for the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition (1930) and his renderings of the two New York World's Fairs. Wenrich died on August 16, 1970.

Throughout his lifetime, Wenrich received several awards and recognitions. He earned the Burdette Long Awards for Architectural Rendering in both 1932 and 1944 and took first prize in the Devoe Travel America National Poster Competition in 1940. He was elected as a fellow in the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences and was a member of the American Watercolor Society, the Art and Print Clubs of Rochester, and two architectural societies. The John Wenrich Memorial Library and Preservation Information Center in Rochester is also named for him and was financed by a memorial fund set-up in his name.


1 Item(s)




Painting of a Pennsylvania locomotive by John C. Wenrich. The son of a locomotive engineer, Wenrich enrolled at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) in 1914, where he studied drawing and design. The collection includes one painting from 1956.


There is only one item in the collection.

Physical Location

On loan
RIT Art Collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchased in 2016. Accession number(s): 2016:042

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jennifer Roeszies in November 2016.

John C. Wenrich locomotive painting
RIT Art Collection
Jennifer Roeszies
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA