A Memorial Exhibition in Tom Garver’s Memory of O. Winston Link’s Photographs

A memorial exhibition staged in memory of Thomas “Tom” Garver’s gift of O. Winston Link’s photographs in the Permanent Collections at Haverford College

Exhibition Dates: June 3 – December 7, 2024
Jane Lutnick Fine Arts Center, Atrium Gallery

Summer Hours: 
June 3 – September 6
Monday- Friday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.

Fall Hours: 
September 9 – December 7, 2024
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Weekends, Noon – 5 p.m.

The exhibition consists of photographs by O. Winston Link (1914-2001) of steam locomotion on the Norfolk and Western Railroad from 1955 to 1960 and photographs taken by Link in 1952 of Haverford College for publicity purposes. Thomas “Tom” Haskell Garver (1934-2023) Haverford class of 1956 first met Link in 1952. Garver recalled that first meeting like this. “Link, a New York photographer, created admissions brochure photos at Haverford in 1952. After graduation, I was studying in New York City and worked part time for him for about a year. This included three trips with Winston to work on his documentation of the last years of steam powered railroading.”

Garver, an accomplished museum administrator and curator, stepped in when Link needed a friend and supporter. Forty years after Garver first met Link his life was marred by tragedy. Conchita Mendoza Link, his second wife, who also was her husband’s agent, fabricated a story that Link suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease in an attempt to steal from Link payments for his work. Mrs. Link was also found to have stolen many of Link’s negatives and prints from which she pocketed the money from their sale. Mrs. Link was criminally charged, found guilty, and sentenced to prison in 1996. Garver began to assist again Link by becoming his business agent. After Link’s death Garver became the organizing curator of the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia. The Last Steam Railroad in North America, published in 1995 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and authored by Garver is the definitive publication on Link and his photography.

Garver wrote in the book: “These photographs are, in every way, works of art,”… “Winston Link innately possessed what has been called photographic vision, the ability to visualize photographs before they are created and to recognize in the process that what one sees, no matter how interesting, does not necessarily translate into an interesting photograph. The thing photographed and a photograph of it are coequal neither in interest, nor in appearance.” Garver’s efforts were instrumental on so many levels in gaining recognition for Link’s photographs as they are now recognized as some of the greatest photographs of the 20th century.

Tom Garver was a great supporter of Haverford College in all manner of ways. As an active member of the class of 1956 with each reunion cycle he compiled Class of 1956 Collective Biography. Furthermore, in his case, that also meant contributing hundreds of art photographs to the Fine Art Photography Collection. Manuscripts including letters from Paul Strand and George Segal and documentary photographs of American scenes by Charles Currier, who was the subject of Garver’s Master’s thesis to further support Special Collections at Haverford. Among this bounty of collections of photographs are a choice selection of O. Winston Link’s black and white, and color photographs. This exhibition is a fitting memorial to a loyal and generous alumnus.