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Gettysburg Visitor Center Cyclorama

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Purchased by the National Park Service in the late 1940's, the painting was moved to the newly constructed park visitor center in 1962. The artistic work underwent a massive restoration project that required hours of hand labor to repair water damaged portions of the painting and two large sections faded by years of direct sunlight. The project was completed and the cyclorama re-opened for public viewing in 1962 with the dedication of the National Park Service Visitor Center, which was later renamed as the Cyclorama Center. The Gettysburg Cyclorama is 359 feet long, 27 feet high and weighs an estimated 3 tons.

Initiated in 2003, the Gettysburg Cyclorama underwent a thirteen million dollar rehabilitation project. Conservation specialists from Olin Associates repaired unstable sections of the canvas and restored original details lost during the numerous repair and preservation attempts on the painting. The cyclorama was moved to the new Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and placed in its own unique viewing auditorium with a restored skyline and foreground. The conserved painting and restored foreground was unveiled to visitors on September 26, 2008 during the grand opening of the visitor center.

The fate of the other Gettysburg Cycloramas has been less fortunate. The Chicago painting was eventually sold and was in private ownership until its donation to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The painting has survived, though it is in desperate need of restoration and a permanent home. Two more versions of the Gettysburg Cyclorama were painted and exhibited, including one shown in Denver, Colorado. One of these was cut up for use as tents by native Americans on a Shoshone Indian Reservation after the turn of the century. The fate of the other painting is unknown.

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