The Atlanta Cyclorama has been thrilling audiences in its present location since 1921. The heart of the exhibit is a circular, 125-year-old oil painting on five panels of Belgian linen that depicts one of the great battles of the Civil War. It’s so big it could nearly cover a football field, and it hangs like a curtain four stories high in a big, round building in the Grant Park neighborhood…
…There have been renovations over the years, the last in 1996, but the cyclorama and the dated Civil War museum that is part of the attraction might not be good enough anymore. There is talk of moving it elsewhere in the city. A new location might give the cyclorama more pop. Or, barring a move, maybe there is simply a better way for the cyclorama to tell the story of Atlanta’s place in the Civil War.
If they indeed do move the Atlanta Cyclorama, or leave it in its present location but add “more pop,” I hope they think it through. I am not against modernization–I’m typing this on my iPad–but changing something just to appeal a younger, tech-savvy audience seems a mistake.
(Detail of Atlanta Cyclorama courtesy London Looks)