Atlanta, Georgia: Atlanta Cyclorama - Battle of Atlanta

Circular sound 'n' light multimedia depiction of the Battle of Atlanta. Blends the World's Largest Oil Painting with three-dimensional battle scenes.
Address:
800 Cherokee Ave., SE, Atlanta, GA
Directions:
I-20 exit 59A (Boulevard SE) then south four blocks to Grant Park.
Hours:
Last admission at 4:30 (Call to verify)
Phone:
404-658-7625
RA Rates:
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Atlanta Cyclorama - Battle of Atlanta

Well worth the trip, even for those of us who live in the area. The details are amazing and, since a restoration effort years ago, the effect is breathtaking.

[Katharine Chestnut, 06/24/2010]
Cyclorama entrance. Atlanta Cyclorama - Battle of Atlanta

This circular sound 'n' light extravaganza depicts the Civil War Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864. It blends the World's Largest Oil Painting (42 feet high and 358 feet long), painted in 1886, with three-dimensional battle scenes, added to the foreground 50 years later. You view it from an amphitheater that slowly spins twice around while a tour guide points out highlights.

The painting, created in Milwaukee by German and Polish immigrants, was commissioned as publicity by John "Blackjack" Logan, a Union general at the Battle, who ran for Vice-President in 1884. Logan was prominently displayed in one scene, leading other generals into the fray. He lost the election, then didn't pay for his giant painting. It toured with a circus until it came to Atlanta in 1892, where it was permanently installed in 1921. The building was heavily promoted as "fireproof" due to the high incidence of cycloramas of the era going up in smoke.

James Earl Jones narrates an introductory film about the South's heroic attempts to save Atlanta, and at the end there is a museum of weapons, uniforms, and other artifacts. The General locomotive was once displayed here, before it was moved to Kennesaw.

Spoiler Alert: of the thousands of people portrayed in the Cyclorama, there is only one woman and one black man. And in 1940 Rhett Butler was added to the artwork at Clark Gable's request; his face was painted on the body of a dead soldier.

[Roadsideamerica.com Team, 06/19/2004]

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