Monday, January 6, 2014

Gettysburg Cyclorama Gets Make-over-- Part 2

Despite the National Park Service having thousands of battle-related items, it was deemed a bad idea to put the real items out in the diorama, so re-enactors were called on to donate their used items, which fit the bill well. //// The first showing of the Gettysburg Cuclorama was in Boston in 1884. Back then, before movies, cycloramas were a popular form of entertainment and traveled from city to city. And, there were more than one making the rounds. //// The Gettysburg Cyclorama was created by French artist Paul Philippoteaux who took great efforts to insure historical accuracy. He interviewed survivors, researched uniforms and strategy and even hired a photographer to record the Gettysburg landscape. He eventually made four paintings of it, each a little different from the others. Two are known to survive and the one at the battlefield is the only one the public can view. //// The painting depicts Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863, in which 19,000 soldiers clashed. This was the final major action of the battle that resulted in Confederate defeat and was a turning point in the war. //// Dioramaa of the objects were considered an essential aspect of cycloramas as they blurred boundaries between the painting and viewers. //// Men who were at the battle declared its integrity. Extensive research went into returning the diorama to its original form as sometime between its 1891 showing in Philadelphia and its 1911 display in 1911, when the painting was cut up into panels for a Newark department store, the diorama just disappeared. //// What was left of the Gettysburg Cyclorama eventually came to Gettysburg in 1913 as a tourist attraction and the federal government acquired it in 1942. //// Something I Need to See. --Old Secesh

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