See the Cyclorama & Film
The Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting and Gettysburg Film At One Location
In the late 1880s, French artist Paul Philippoteaux took brush to canvas and created the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama painting. He spent months on the battlefield researching the Battle of Gettysburg with veterans, a battlefield guide and photographer. It took Philippoteaux and a team of assistants more than a year to complete. The result is a breathtaking oil painting that measures 377 feet in circumference and 42 feet high. Longer than a football field and as tall as a four-story structure, the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting immerses visitors in the fury of Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg. First watch the Gettysburg film then witness the drama of the Gettysburg Cyclorama for yourself exclusively at the Museum and Visitor Center.
When you see the Gettysburg Cyclorama today, you’ll see it the way Paul Philippoteaux originally intended. Together with a sound-and-light program, an overhead canopy and a three-dimensional diorama foreground that realistically features stone walls, broken fences, shattered trees and a cannon, the experience is so moving that it may bring you to tears, just as it did for many Civil War veterans who saw the Gettysburg Cyclorama years ago.
Gettysburg Cyclorama History
Four versions of the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting existed at one time in the United States. The version that is on exhibit at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, the Boston version of the painting, was first exhibited in that city in 1884. The Gettysburg Cyclorama remained in private hands until the National Park Service acquired it in the 1940s.
Over the years, the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting survived fire, leaks, tears, rotting, temperature and humidity fluctuations. To accommodate exhibit spaces over time, the Cyclorama had been sliced into panels and approximately 15 feet of sky had been removed over the years. These combined forces took a toll on the painting, creating seams and bends and causing chips in the paint. By the late 1990s, experts warned that unless the Cyclorama was repaired, this historic object could be lost forever.
Gettysburg Cyclorama Conservation
Repairing the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting required painstaking work by art conservationists under the direction of David Olin, Olin Conservation, Great Falls, Va. Experts repaired unstable sections of the canvas and restored details lost during previous conservation attempts. The conservation of the Gettysburg Cyclorama was the largest conservation effort of its kind in North America.
Gettysburg Film A New Birth of Freedom
Freedom. In the Gettysburg Address, given just a few short months after the epic Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln called for “a new birth of freedom.”
It is at Gettysburg we are reminded that freedom, like power, will always be contested. And it is at Gettysburg that visitors today are inspired by Lincoln’s “new birth of freedom,” called to protect and defend all ideals of democracy.
Narrated by Morgan Freeman, and featuring the voices of Sam Waterston and Marcia Gay Harden, the Gettysburg film A New Birth of Freedom places the monumental events of the Battle of Gettysburg into the larger context of American history.
Sponsored by The History Channel, A New Birth of Freedom is shown in the main film theaters exclusively at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and sets the stage for the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting program.
Purchase Tickets for the Gettysburg Cyclorama and Film A New Birth of Freedom
During peak season, the Gettysburg film A New Birth of Freedom and the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting program runs every 15 minutes. Tickets for the film and Cyclorama also include admission to the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War. Timed tickets to the Cyclorama, Film and Museum Experience can be purchased at the ticket counter in the lobby of the Museum and Visitor Center, online at Ticket Prices & Packages or by telephone at 877-874-2478. Proceeds from ticket purchases benefit battlefield preservation.