Coming Soon: Frontier to Heartland


I am excited to report that an online exhibit I have curated for the Newberry Library is moving toward its virtual opening day.

The project team is still hammering out a few kinks, but it’s close enough for visitors to take a sneak peek.  So over the next few weeks I’ll be writing short posts to highlight some of my favorite images from the collection here and on Bughouse Square.

Today’s image is for Loretta, who is all to familiar with this project.  It is a reproduction of one of a number of paintings that formed a quarter mile long panorama of the Mississippi River.  The artist, Henry Lewis, took several raft trips on the river between 1846 and 1848, then turned his sketches into a massive landscape scenes.  The panorama was a popular theater event across the “west” and then in Europe.  Lewis settled in Germany, where this image was published in 1857.  Lewis’s was one of several panoramic images attracting audiences at the time.  They were proto-films, mounted on giant rollers that advanced to recreate the experience of floating downstream.

To see more of the project, click through the image.  Let me know what you think.

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