Caring for Gettysburg’s Largest Artifact

Here’s a nice post from our friends at the Gettysburg National Military Park covering the care of the Cyclorama painting. It gives some great behind-the-scenes information on one of my favorite attractions. If you haven’t seen the Cyclorama yet, you’re missing a real treat, especially in its location in the new Visitors Center.

The Blog of Gettysburg National Military Park

A view of the diorama from the catwalk high above. A view of the diorama from the catwalk high above.

It’s checkup time for the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting.

Conservator David Olin at the top of the painting in the background. Conservator David Olin at the top of the painting in the background.

Gettysburg National Military Park’s largest artifact requires special care and attention. To ensure that the painting remains in good condition, David L. Olin, an acclaimed painting conservator who led a five-year conservation project on the painting in 2003, visits on a regular basis to conduct a condition assessment.

The oil on canvas measures 377 feet in circumference at its widest point and 42 feet in height and weighs 12.5 tons. Since its installation at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center it has been the “must see” attraction in the facility.

Olin, left, speaking with GETT Superintendent Ed Clark and the supervisor of museum services, Greg Goodell. Olin, left, speaking with GETT Superintendent Ed Clark and the supervisor of museum services, Greg Goodell.

Entitled “The Battle of Gettysburg,” it depicts a pivotal moment in…

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2 comments

  1. Bob Nelson · · Reply

    Great stuff, Al. I envy you guys who live in the East and can jump in your car and drive to GB, Antietam, the Shenandoah Valley, Washington, Richmond, Lexington or elsewhere in a matter of hours. I saw the Cyclorama about 20 years ago before it was restored. It was dark, dirty and dingy. Hope to see the restored version some day. Ran across this video on You Tube. Not professionally done but it shows a good deal of the restored Cyclorama. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpjefiHKptY If you look at this Al, what do the red numbers indicate? I assume they match up with comments in the program. Thanks.

    1. That’s the miniature reproduction outside the actual cyclorama. There is a series of explanations of various parts of the painting under the miniature, and the red numbers you see correspond to the explanation.

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