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Redeeming the Cyclorama: Why the century-old attraction is anything but a monument to the Confederacy
Conceived in Chicago, created in Milwaukee, and premiered in Minneapolis, the Cyclorama was meant to celebrate the Union’s great triumph in capturing Atlanta and hastening the end of the Civil War. But when the painting moved South, new audiences flipped its meaning, bastardizing the spectacle into a testament to white Southern pride. For decades, it was a masterpiece of misinterpretation. Now, it has a new life at the Atlanta History Center.
Several years ago, photographer Gregg Segal started a series that juxtaposes “an idealized Civil War embodied by period re-enactors” with “the commercialism of contemporary life.” We commissioned Segal to add to his series with photographs at sites from the Atlanta Campaign.