The Gettysburg Cyclorama

The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas

Sue Boardman, Chris Brenneman, Bill Dowling

Date Published :
June 2015
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Illustration :
full color, 410 images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781611212648
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 11 X 8.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Thousands of books and articles have been written about the Battle of Gettysburg. Almost every topic has been thoroughly scrutinized except one: Paul Philippoteaux’s massive cyclorama painting The Battle of Gettysburg, which depicts Pickett’s Charge, the final attack at Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas is the first comprehensive study of this art masterpiece and historic artifact.

This in-depth study of the history of the cyclorama discusses every aspect of this treasure, which was first displayed in 1884 and underwent a massive restoration in 2008. Coverage includes not only how it was created and what it depicts, but the changes it has undergone and where and how it was moved. Authors Chris Brenneman and Sue Boardman also discuss in fascinating detail how the painting was interpreted by Civil War veterans in the late 19th Century.

With the aid of award-winning photographer Bill Dowling, the authors utilized modern photography to compare the painting with historic and modern pictures of the landscape. Dowling’s remarkable close-up digital photography allows readers to focus on distant details that usually pass unseen. Every officer, unit, terrain feature, farm, and more pictured in the painting is discussed in detail. Even more remarkable, the authors reveal an important new discovery made during the research for this book: in order to address suggestions from the viewers, the cyclorama was significantly modified five years after it was created to add more soldiers, additional flags, and even General George Meade, the commander of the Union Army!

With hundreds of rare historic photographs and beautiful modern pictures of a truly great work of art, The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas is a must-have for anyone interested in the Battle of Gettysburg or is simply a lover of exquisite art.

About The Author

Sue Boardman, a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2000, is a two-time recipient of the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Guiding. Beginning in 2004, Sue served as historical consultant for the Gettysburg Foundation for both the new museum project and for the massive restoration of the Gettysburg Cyclorama. Sue served as President of the historic Evergreen Cemetery Association as well as an adjunct instructor for Harrisburg Area Community College and Susquehanna University. Sue currently serves as the Leadership Program Director for the Gettysburg Foundation. A 23-year career as an emergency room nurse preceded her career at Gettysburg.

Chris Brenneman, Sue Boardman, and Bill Dowling are Licensed Battlefield Guides at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

As part of his job working for the Gettysburg Foundation, Chris Brenneman has spent hundreds of hours studying the Gettysburg Cyclorama and identifying the amazing intricacies within the painting. Sue Boardman was the historical consultant for the Gettysburg Foundation for the massive project to conserve and restore the Gettysburg Cyclorama, and is the author of several books and articles. Bill Dowling is an award-winning photographer specializing in historical landscape photography, with a special interest in the Gettysburg battlefield. Bill’s photographs have been published in many books and magazines, and have appeared on the Jumbotron in New York’s Times Square.


"For generations, millions of Gettysburg’s visitors have experienced ‘Pickett’s Charge’ through the canvas of Paul Philippoteaux’s massive Cyclorama. But the full story of the painting’s creation, restoration, and ongoing interpretation has never before been fully told. Authors Chris Brenneman and Sue Boardman, along with photographer Bill Dowling, have used their behind the scenes access to create a colorful and lively guide that will appeal to Gettysburg students, scholars, and lovers of fine art.”"

- James A. Hessler, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, author of Sickles at Gettysburg (2009) and Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg (2015)

“The Gettysburg Cyclorama of Pickett’s Charge by Paul Philippoteaux is the most famous and iconic work of art about the battle.This beautifully illustrated and superbly researched book is quite simply the most thorough exploration of the painting’s fascinating history and subject matter ever written.”

- D. Scott Hartwig, former Supervisory Historian for Gettysburg National Military Park, and the author of To Antietam Creek:The Maryland Campaign of September 1862

“Few works of art are more important or more fascinating than the Gettysburg Cyclorama, Paul Philippoteaux’s mammoth painting documenting ‘Pickett’s Charge’ on the afternoon of July 3, 1863. Here, for the first time, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides Chris Brenneman, Sue Boardman, and Bill Dowling examine every detail of this epic painting, including its restoration in the early 2000s, the changes made to it, and the politics, history, and accuracy behind its fascinating detail. Scores of photographs in both color and black and white enhance this book—which is a must-read for anyone interested in the Battle of Gettysburg and how it is remembered.”

- Eric J.Wittenberg,award-winning author of Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions(Savas Beatie, 2011) and The Devil’s to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg:A History andWalking Tour (Savas Beatie, 2014)

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