Cyclorama for Sale
January 1, 2006 9:43 AM   Subscribe

A copy of the Gettysburg Cyclorama is for sale if anyone has the $2-$3 million it is expected to cost, and more importantly, somewhere to put it. It is one of four copies originally painted. This copy was found in a burned-out Chicago Warehouse in 1965 so maybe there is still hope to find the Second Battle of Manassas cyclorama. One other copy of the Gettysburg Cyclorama exists and is being restored at the Gettysburg National Military Park. [mi]
posted by marxchivist (13 comments total)
The version currently up for sale was photographed in the late 1880's, you can see the photos here. While researching this, I found a Chicago Fire Cyclorama that looks pretty cool. Previous Mefi post on the Gettysburg Cyclorama and cycloramas in general here.
posted by marxchivist at 9:43 AM on January 1, 2006

This post is a good example of social posting/commenting: the comment/link (for me) more interesting than the post itself. thanks.
posted by Postroad at 9:54 AM on January 1, 2006

Wow, how do you think Joseph Wallace King just found the thing in 1965? I can understand a rare document on someone's shelf or an obscure LP in a thrift store, but this is a find. I mean, how, HOW? ha. ya know? HOW? was it just covered in a drape?
posted by Peter H at 10:15 AM on January 1, 2006

Anyone else hoping that was an ebay link? :)
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:21 AM on January 1, 2006

Ahh, the naive dream of public and educational art. I miss those days.
posted by bardic at 11:10 AM on January 1, 2006

King found the work in 1965 behind the wall of a burned-out warehouse in Chicago."It was just forgotten, really," Cox said. "It was probably a miracle that anyone found it."

I keep picturing Geraldo Rivera standing there, mike in hand, as the wall gets knocked down...
posted by alumshubby at 12:08 PM on January 1, 2006

In order to price your art realistically, you must stand back and objectively evaluate the significance and quality of your art in relation to fellow artists. You must also objectively assess how art dealers are likely to position you in relation to these rivals. On this basis $2-$3m is a touch pricey I think.
posted by Leam Srehtorb at 12:46 PM on January 1, 2006

Peter H, I was wondering that, too. The most detailed information I could find about it was here:

But the experts were wrong. As far back as the 1930s, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, artist named Joseph Wallace King got word that one of the three missing Philippoteaux Gettysburg Cycloramas had survived. An obsession took root, and King spent years tracking rumors about the painting. Finally, in 1965, he chased it to Chicago, only to learn that the warehouse where it lay in storage had burned. He persevered, found a new warehouse on the site, prowled through it, and, when he discovered a smoke-stained wall in the back, somehow persuaded the owner to let him break through. Sure enough, behind the wall were 14 great canvas rolls.

The triumphant King bought the painting from the warehouse owner’s son and brought it back to Winston-Salem. He unrolled it on the football field in Bowman Gray Stadium; the goalposts had to be uprooted to accommodate this unveiling: the painting proved to be 376 feet long, and 22 feet high. When King died in 1996, he left the cyclorama to Wake Forest University, where it remains in storage, awaiting a buyer who can give it the restoration and display it deserves.
posted by amarynth at 2:12 PM on January 1, 2006

Cyclorama's are awesome.
posted by graventy at 6:32 PM on January 1, 2006

posted by graventy at 6:32 PM on January 1, 2006

Yes, cycloramas rock.
posted by plinth at 6:15 AM on January 2, 2006

Wow, amarynth, thank you for finding that out. I'm very impressed and a little mystified by his blind will to find the thing, especially the confidence to break down a wall to discover it! Like it was calling out to him or something. I'm sincerely happy he found it. Hope the remaining thirty years of his life were spent happily on other weird quests, too.
posted by Peter H at 11:14 AM on January 2, 2006

Whenever I hear about these lost cycloramas, I vaguely recall a short story by R A Lafferty called 'All Pieces of a River Shore,' about a cylorama found at a traveling oddity show. The cylorama had certain strange properties, like having incredible detail (down to a microscopic level); and if you viewed it long enough, you came upon the image of yourself... viewing the cylorama. And of course if you kept viewing, you saw into the future...
posted by Bron at 8:24 PM on January 2, 2006

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