The Atlanta Cyclorama
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 44.052 W 084° 22.301
16S E 743505 N 3735788
Quick Description: Located in Grant Park next to Zoo Atlanta. Features a museum and guided viewing of the painting.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 2/15/2007 5:19:55 PM
Waymark Code: WM17WC
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 68

Long Description:
The Atlanta Cyclorama is a cylindrical panoramic painting of the American Civil War Battle of Atlanta. The cyclorama is housed in a museum, also called the "Atlanta Cyclorama", in Grant Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Visitors view the cylindrical painting from the inside, entering through an entrance in the floor, after being seated the central cylinder rotates slowly affording a view of the entire painting. If unrolled, the painting would measure 42 feet high by 358 feet long and is the largest oil painting in the world.
The painting depicts fierce fighting during the Civil War as Confederate defenders of Atlanta unsuccessfully counterattacked the Union army on July 22, 1864. The painting was commissioned after the end of the war as part of the political campaign of Vice Presidential candidate John A. Logan, who had commanded a large part of the Union forces in the battle. Thus, parts of the painting emphasize the heroism of Logan and other Union commanders.

One of several massive cycloramas depicting Civil War battles painted during the 1880s, the Battle of Atlanta painting was created in Milwaukee by a team led by Germans F.W. Heine and August Lohr. They also consulted Civil War artist and witness Theodore Davis, whom they painted into the work. It opened to display in Detroit, Michigan, in 1887.

The painting was sold and ended up in the hands of a traveling circus. When this circus came to Atlanta in the late 1800s, few Atlantans wished to see a Northern-biased painting that glorified the defeat that would lead to the destruction of their city. So, with little attendance, the circus went bankrupt, selling its assets including the painting and the animals. The animals became the founding attraction at Zoo Atlanta and the painting was housed in a wooden structure next to the zoo.

Today, the cyclorama still resides next to the zoo, but now in a state-of-the art facility designed to protect and conserve the delicate painting. The museum displays pictures and artifacts from the Civil War, including the Texas, a steam locomotive that pursued the captured train the General in the Great Locomotive Chase during the war. This raid was depicted in the 1927 Buster Keaton film The General and the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase.

A movie theater inside the museum shows a short film about the Atlanta Campaign, narrated by James Earl Jones, to visitors before they view the painting. The cyclorama painting itself is augmented by a three-dimensional diorama in front of the painting and a narration of the events of the battle and the history of the painting. A popular story concerning the diorama involves actor Clark Gable. During the celebrations surrounding the opening of the film Gone with the Wind, the film's actors visited the Atlanta Cyclorama. Gable allegedly claimed that the only way the painting could be any more magnificent was if he was in it, prompting the management to add Gable's features to one of the sculptures in the diorama, that of a dying soldier.

The Cyclorama was narrated at one time by volunteers, some of whom were veterans or widows of veterans of the Civil War. In 1960, Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield accepted the donation of a recorded narration written by Junius Andrew Park, Jr., in honor of his father, Junius Andrew Park, Sr., who was born and raised in Atlanta. Research was done by Lurline Richardson Park, the writer's wife. The narration was musically scored by Atlanta musician Sam T. Wilhoit and the narration was read by Hollywood actor Victor Jory, who appeared in the original motion picture, Gone With The Wind. All parties donated their time and labor. In later years, a revised narration was produced and narrated by actor Shepherd Strudwell.

Type of site: Museum

Admission Charged: More than $5

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
Directions: From I-20 east: take exit 26. Follow the signs.

Address: Not listed

Phone Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Post a picture of site showing the signage or other notable feature. Please tell what you saw or learned.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Civil War Discovery Trail Sites
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
hzoi visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 12/24/2021 hzoi visited it
xptwo visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 3/15/2013 xptwo visited it
Blue Man visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 4/16/2012 Blue Man visited it
geodave88 visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 7/25/2008 geodave88 visited it
Lat34North visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 8/1/2007 Lat34North visited it
CM-14 visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 6/10/2007 CM-14 visited it
ChapterhouseInc visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 2/10/2007 ChapterhouseInc visited it
ckirbee visited The Atlanta Cyclorama 5/12/2001 ckirbee visited it

View all visits/logs