One of the most celebrated and widely viewed paintings of the nineteenth century --actually what was called a " Cyclorama"-- almost didn’t survive into the twentieth. The installation provoked an intense, extended and emotional revisiting of America's recent Civil War. Frenchman Paul Philippoteaux's The Battle of Gettysburg, a vast canvas with a vast audience—hundreds of thousands had once flocked to see it—was found by a Boston Globe reporter fifteen years later, moldering in a shed at the back of a vacant lot.
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Grand Challenge: Understanding the American Experience
Use material culture and documentary collections to research and interpret national milestones and achievements; American life and national identity, cultural expression, the environment and changing landscape, and achievements in science and technology; political and military struggles; economic, scientific, technological, and cultural innovations; and artists and leaders that have defined the United States and the character of its people.
ERC Grand Challenges: For project design, for inquiry, for activism.