READ ALL ABOUT IT!
Be sure to "follow" this blog for developing news about the Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress Book!
This book is the culmination of a decades-long project to preserve and reinterpret this 800-foot-long panoramic painting from 1851 in the collection of the Saco Museum. The panorama’s story–its spectacular debut, its disappearance, and its rediscovery–is remarkable in and of itself, but this is also a great museum story. According to a recent blog post for UPNE, “the reason we know much of anything at all about the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress . . . is that it was donated to a public museum.”
You can order the book online here: http://www.upne.com/1611686630.htmlAnd you can also find the recent post on the UPNE blog here: http://upne.blogspot.com/2015/05/on-long-lost-american-masterpiece-and.html
The University Press of New England’s blog features the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress!
“…the reason we know much of anything at all about the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress, beyond the historical fact of its existence and the newspaper accounts of its production and enthusiastic public reception in 1851, is that it was donated to a public museum.
Read the full post here.
The first advance copies of The Painters’ Panorama: Narrative, Art, and Faith in the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress arrived in the mail yesterday! Thank you to the University Press of New England for sending it and creating such an elegant book.
It has been twenty years since the panorama–thought to have been lost for a full century–was rediscovered in the collection of Maine’s Saco Museum. So this book is the culmination of two decades of work to restore it, reinterpret it, and make it accessible once again to fans and scholars of panoramas, nineteenth-century American painting, John Bunyan (author of The Pilgrim’s Progress) and many others.
The book’s authors–Jessica Skwire Routhier, Kevin J. Avery, and Thomas Hardiman Jr.–all played important roles in bringing the panorama back to public life. But we want to also share this moment with Leslie L. Rounds, Director of the Dyer Library and Saco Museum (who contributed the book’s Introduction) and Peter Morelli, a longtime trustee of the library and museum, who can accept as much credit as anyone–probably more–for the fact that the panorama is known about, cared for, and appreciated today.
The panorama and this book about it touch upon many different disciplines and communities, from 17th-century English literature and theology to the Hudson River School of American landscape painting to an international phenomenon of panorama painting and scholarship that continues to this day. In its purest sense, however, this book is a paean to the power and importance of museums, particularly the small Maine museum that took on one of the biggest paintings in the world.
The official publication date is May 5, 2015. Place your pre-orders now!
The annual conference of the College Art Association is going on right now, and the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress book is there! Here is a picture from the University Press of New England table in the exhibit area, with the panorama front and center.
Advance copies are on display, and they are taking orders. You can also pre-order a copy from the UPNE website by following this link. So very proud to be part of UPNE’s family of authors and to share the panorama with the CAA’s community of scholars.
Just in case you have ever thought to yourself, I wish I could hear Jessica Skwire Routhier talk about the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress for forty-five solid minutes…now you can! Back in November 2012, before the panorama exhibition closed, Peter Morelli asked to videotape my gallery talk for posterity. Here’s the link:
(Sorry about all the background noise. )
And don’t forget, you can also watch the panorama film (plus or minus a six-minute introduction) by going to sacomuseum.org/panorama and clicking “Watch the Film,” or see a live performance of the full-scale replica on the stage at Saco’s historic City Hall by clicking “Visit the Exhibition.”
The Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Foundation for American Art has just announced a $9,000 grant to the University Press of New England in support of The Painters’ Panorama: Narrative, Art, and Faith in the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress. With essays by Jessica Skwire Routhier, Kevin J. Avery, and Thomas Hardiman, Jr., this monograph will tell the remarkable story of the panorama, from the circumstances of its creation and debut in 1851, to its descent into loss and obscurity for a full century, to its serendipitous rediscovery in 1996 and restoration in 2012. Funding from the Wyeth Foundation will make possible the inclusion of full-color plates of all forty extant scenes of the panorama, making the book an unprecedented complete visual document of an extant moving panorama.
This book is a collaborative project with the Dyer Library and Saco Museum, owners of the panorama.
For more about the book project, click here.
For an abstract of the book, click here: Abstract
Heartfelt thanks to the Wyeth Foundation and all the other project supporters to date.
The Dyer Library and Saco Museum, owner of the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress, has just signed a contract with the University Press of New England to publish a monograph on the panorama, slated for publication in the spring of 2015.
The book will include forty beautiful, full-color plates of all the major extant scenes of the panorama, as well as reproductions of artwork by the Hudson River School painters who participated in its production.
The book will also include new scholarship by Jessica Skwire Routhier, former director of the Saco Museum, and additional essays by Kevin Avery, former curator of American paintings and sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and professor of Art History at Hunter College of the City University of New York; and Thomas Hardiman, Jr., former curator of the Saco Museum and now Keeper at the Portsmouth Athenaeum. Avery’s essay will give an overview of the moving panorama tradition in mid-19th-century America; Hardiman’s essay will detail the unique history and remarkable adventures of the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress, and Routhier’s essay will explore the artistic underpinnings of the panorama by examining the early work of panorama artists Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Cropsey, Daniel Huntington, and others.
Please follow this blog to receive updates about the panorama book project, or contact Jessica Skwire Routhier directly for more information.
About the Dyer Library and Saco Museum
The Saco Museum is a regional museum of fine and decorative arts and historic artifacts that was founded as the York Institute in 1866; the Dyer Library Association, operating the museum and a public library, is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3). Together, the library and museum share the mission to “promote life-long learning and appreciation of culture; preservation of the past; and state-of-the-art services and resources for all.” The Saco Museum’s collection is the largest and most comprehensive repository anywhere of the rich material culture of the Saco River Valley, including important Federal furniture, major portraits by John Brewster, Jr, the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress (currently on view) , the earliest known American camera, and other artifacts connected to southern Maine. For more information: www.dyerlibrarysacomuseum.org.
About the University Press of New England
University Press of New England is an award-winning university press supported by a consortium of schools: Brandeis University, Dartmouth College, University of New Hampshire, and Northeastern University. Founded in 1970, UPNE is a unique publishing consortium based at Dartmouth College, the host institution. UPNE has earned a reputation for excellence in scholarly, instructional, reference, literary and artistic, and general-interest books. Many of these are published cooperatively with one of the member institutions and carry a joint imprint. Others are published under the University Press of New England imprint. The publishing program reflects strengths in the humanities, liberal arts, fine, decorative, and performing arts, literature, New England culture, and interdisciplinary studies. The Press publishes and distributes more than eighty titles annually, with sales of more than $2.5 million. A professional staff of twenty-four maintains high standards in editorial, design and production, marketing, order fulfillment, and business operations. For more information: www.upne.com.
About the Authors
Jessica Skwire Routhier, former Director of the Saco Museum, led a major project to preserve and interpret the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress in 2012. She has written extensively on regional artistic traditions in Maine, including dedicated publications on landscape painters Charles Codman and Harrison Bird Brown and articles in Antiques and Antiques and Fine Art magazines, among others. Ms. Routhier has also worked in the curatorial departments of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, and serves as President of Maine Archives and Museums, dedicated to supporting and promoting Maine’s collecting institutions. She is a writer, editor, and independent museum professional.
Kevin J. Avery is a former curator of American paintings and sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; he remains affiliated with the Met as a researcher. Dr. Avery is also a professor of Art History at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He is the author of John Vanderlyn’s Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, 1988; Church’s Great Picture: The Heart of the Andes, 1993; Hudson River School Visions, 2003; and Treasures from Olana: Landcapes by Frederic Edwin Church, 2005. A chapter of Dr. Avery’s doctoral dissertation for Columbia University was dedicated to the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress, then thought to be lost.
Thomas Hardiman, Jr., is the Keeper of the Portsmouth Athenaeum, New Hampshire and the former curator of the Saco Museum. He is credited with rescuing the panorama and connecting it to the panorama of Dr. Avery’s earlier research. Hardiman has written and lectured extensively about the art and material culture of northern New England, including an influential Antiques magazine article establishing a body of work for southern Maine cabinetmakers Joshua Cumston and David Buckminster.
THIS PUBLICATION PROJECT has received generous support from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art and the Maine Arts Commission. For a full list of funders for the 2012 campaign to preserve and interpret the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress, please see the Project Partners page on this site.