Thomas Ferderbar

Shamrock Conoco, TX Route 66 Series, 2002
Photograph - Archival Inkjet Print on Epson Premium Luster Paper
18.75 x 15 in
SKU: 13809g
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Artwork Size: 18 3/4" x 15"


The Route 66 photographs date from 1980 to the present. In this photograph, the Conoco sign stretches into the rich blue sky, highlighting the sign even as it is deteriorated. Ferderbar’s goal is to visually preserve the memory of Route 66 for future generations. The photographer’s first trip along Route 66 was in 1947. The artist has said: “My work reflects a melancholic response to the decaying remnants of that once grand route from Chicago to Santa Monica. It appears to me that even as they deteriorate, both the structures and roadways assert a defiant resistance to death. Nevertheless, however, all things do die, and these photographs will provide an abiding tribute to Route 66’s contribution to our nation’s heritage.” 
Frame Size: 25" x 21"


Artist Bio:


I wanted to become a photographer at the age of 12, when my sister Grace gave me a Kodak Box Brownie camera for Christmas. (I still have that camera.) Since our family was quite poor, I built my first enlarger with an oatmeal box, while that same box camera was used as its lens.

In 1947, just after graduation from high school, I had the opportunity to travel to California by car and house trailer with my uncle, aunt and mother, and in the process to shoot my first pictures along Route 66. Then, after graduation from college, a stint in the army followed by photography school, I opened an advertising photography studio in 1954. For over four decades my staff and I earned numerous local, regional and national awards for our achievements in photography, including several "best of show" honors.

In 1958 I studied with renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams at his Yosemite National Park workshop. In 1980, while still operating my advertising photography studio, I began a serious photographic study of the decaying artifacts along our country's former Mother Road, Route 66.

The former national highway route from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California was not a popular subject at the time, and so I filed away my transparencies, not knowing what I might ever do with them. However, as time passed Route 66 did become a topic of national interest, and upon my retirement in 1997, I once again returned to record the Mother Road's artifacts.

A number of my Yosemite series photographs are included in the Ansel and Virginia Adams collection at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona at Tucson, and several of my Route 66 photographs and other subjects have been acquired by the Milwaukee Art Museum. At this time I am preparing a book of my photographic experiences along Route 66, from 1947 to the present. --Tom Ferderbar