Date of Award

12-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Wilson

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Trask

Abstract

In the summer of 1886, the American Panorama Company hired seventeen artists to produce The Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama, a 360-degree painting depicting the Civil War battle on July 22, 1864. This paper explores and analyzes the history, exhibition, and narratives of the Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama. The goal of this study is to understand how the Cyclorama’s exhibition and narrative have changed over time while engendering an authentic and historical relationship with different audiences for 135 years. My research is contingent on theories of narrative, exhibition, and Civil War memory, as well as previous works written about the Cyclorama, newspaper articles, and archival materials and transcripts from the Cyclorama narrations of the 20th century. I conclude that the Cyclorama is an immersive spectacle where the audience holds the power to cocreate and reinforce meaning for and about the Cyclorama.

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