The Cyclorama Diorama - Grant Park - Atlanta, GA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 44.052 W 084° 22.301
16S E 743505 N 3735788
Quick Description: Historic Civil War Museum, according to the American Guide Series, the addition of the 3D diorama was part of the 1937 Emergency Relief Fund. (No pictures inside gallery.)
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 9/7/2009 10:35:31 AM
Waymark Code: WM761V
Views: 7

Long Description:
"The work of projecting the picture into the third dimension was carried out by a staff of professional painters and sculptors in 1937 with the assistance of Federal funds under the Emergency Relief Program." (excerpt from below)

Existing as only canvas until the 1937 funding provided artists the ability to make the piece three dimensional. Since this time there have been many more efforts to preserve and protect the artwork from itself. This building has been upgraded and the piece preserved to remain as original as possible.

One of several points found within (25) Grant Park, S Boulevard and Atlanta Ave.
"The Cyclorama Building (open 8 am-10 pm daily, childres 25 cents, adults 50 cents; lectures according to attendance; no cameras allowed), facing the Augusta Ave entrance to the park, houses the colossal Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta. This battle was fought July 22, 1864, in the territory around Moreland Avenue for control of the Georgia Railroad.
The building, situated on a high terrace, is approached by doublestairways leading up to a broad esplanade. The front half of the building is constructed of white stone-flecked terra cotta, while the circular rear section, especially erected to house the great canvas, is of stucco. The facade is dominated by a loggia, two stories high, featuring Ionic columns and pilasters.
From the entrance hallway a short flight of stairs leads downward into a tunnel; at the opposite end a double stairway leads upward into the center of the rotunda where the huge circular picture is displayed. Visitors may view the canvas from two levels, circling to follow the lecturer who speaks from a catwalk on the lower level.
The time of the scene depicted is the crucial moment at 4:30 pm, when General Cheatham's troops made a counteratack in an effort to restore their line. Beyond the charging soldiers, the exploding shells, and the rising smoke of the fields lise the small city of Atlanta, which at that time had a population of approximately 15,000. Stone Mountain and Kennesaw Mountain are seen in the distance. Above the confusion of the battle, 'Abe,' the eagle mascot of Union Company C, flies high to avoid the shells. This eagle has since been memorialized on the silver dollar.
The painting is approximately 400 feet in circumfrance and 50 feet in height, and weighs 18,000 pounds. Suspended from a circular rail, the canvas creates an illusion of a continuous landscape. a striking three-dimensional effect is achieved by continuing the action of the picture into the space (about forty feet) between the cnvas and the central platform. The irregular terrain of the battlefield is reproduced with 1,500 tons of Georgia clay, ranging in color from white to red. Tree trunks, dynamited and treated to appear shell-torn, green-tinted excelsior simulating grass, and bushes made of wire and plaster add to the realistic effect. Scores of plaster soldiers--fighting, woulded, and dead--are spread over the battlefield. The figures vary in size from twenty-two inches to slightly under four feet, but they are placed with such precision that in perspective that appear lifesize. Canvas and forground are so well merged that only the keenest scrutiny can determine where one leaves off and the other begins. The ambulance is partly painted and partly executed in plaster; the railroad tracks start as painting on the hanging canvas and extend with actual rails across the field to the opposite side of the picture.
The Cyclorama was painted about 1886 in Milwalkee, Wisconsin, by a staff of German artists, who executed similar cycloramas of the battles of Gettysburg and Missionary Ridge, both of which were accidentally destroyed. In the early 1890's the Battle of Atlanta was brought to this city and lodged in a n Edgewood Avenue building, where it remained until 1898, when it was purchased for $1,000 by G.V. Gress, an Atlanta lumber merchant, and presented to the city.
The work of projecting the picture into the third dimension was carried out by a staff of professional painters and sculptors in 1937 with the assistance of Federal funds under the Emergency Relief Program.
On the upper floor is a room in which are displayed enlargements of eight pictures of Atlanta and the trenches and breastworks surrounding the city at the time of the Federal siege. The original photographs were taken by General Sherman's official photographer.
--Georgia A Guide To Its Towns And Countryside, 1940
The building, artwork and museum collection have been renovated (several time possibly) over the years. Tour now costs more, and the lecture is given on a stationary seating platform, while the piece spins around you.

This Civil War Heritage Site has been crosslisted in several categories.
Project type: Mural/Painting

Date built or created: 1886

Location: Cyclorama

City: Atlanta

Condition: Good upkeep with a little wear and tear

Website for additional information: [Web Link]

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