Montclair Art Museum

Montclair, NJ


The following essay was written by Kevin J. Avery, Ph.D., as a catalogue essay for the catalogue The Grand Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress (ISBN 0-936489-57-X) which accompanied the exhibition of the same title which premiered January 31, 1999 at The Montclair Art Museum and toured to two other venues. The exhibition was organized by The Montclair Art Museum. The essay is reprinted with permission of the Montclair Art Museum.


Movies for Manifest Destiny: The Moving Panorama Phenomenon in America

by Kevin J. Avery, Ph.D.

We live in an overheated age, fueled by entertainment media and headed by what critics often generously term "film" or "the cinema." Assailed (or regaled) by special-effects blockbusters, multiple sequels, then video versions that include "director's cuts" of the big screen originals, we can scarcely imagine the pre-celluloid, pre-electronic forebears of today's movies that delighted American and British audiences a century and a half ago.

The newly rediscovered Panorama of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1850-1851) is, in fact, a kind of director's cut -- a slightly altered replica -- of an original "motion picture" painted on cloth. Both versions of the panorama were but two among the hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand, of such productions that toured the English-speaking world from about 1845 until nearly the end of the century. "Moving panoramas," or "moving dioramas," as these entertainments were also called, flourished in England's Age of Empire and America's frontier era of Manifest Destiny.[l] Panoramas perfectly accommodated that age. Most of them were portraits of vast territories, represented in linear sequence giving the viewer the impression of traveling over the landscape, often by boat or train. Today, the nearest equivalent of the moving panorama is the travel or historical documentary. In length, moving panoramas typically reached a thousand or more feet and stood eight to twelve feet high.[2] They were generally presented in successive sections framed by a proscenium, which concealed the rollers around which the panorama was wound. Usually, a lecturer stood by the picture as a tour guide, describing the peculiar features and the history of the scenery as it passed.

The Panorama of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress was, like most of its contemporaries, painted in distemper, the transient, water-based medium of the theatrical scene-painter. Very few of its kind have survived. Though they were never intended to be seen stationary or at close hand, moving panoramas are virtually impossible today to exhibit as they originally were -- in motion. Unavoidably, we can perceive the panorama only as an object, an historical artifact. Understanding its former appeal begs some description of the panorama's history and its audience.

The word "panorama" (Greek for "all-sight" or "all-embracing view") was coined in the late eighteenth century to refer to the circular panorama invented by an Irish artist, Robert Barker, who resided at the time in Edinburgh, Scotland.[3] Barker was a portraitist who also made landscapes, in the period just preceding the great age of landscape painting in Britain, dominated by William Turner and John Constable. Around 1785, Barker had a novel idea: he ventured to draw, on four pieces of paper, everything he could see from the top of Edinburgh's famed Calton Hill. He now had a complete 360-degree view, which he transferred (with the help of Italian treatises on perspective) to a large canvas suspended within a wooden shed twenty-five feet in diameter. Barker cut a hole in the roof to admit light on the canvas, and was soon charging a nominal admission to see his circular view of Edinburgh. The Scots showed sufficient interest that, in 1787, Barker transferred his operation to London and obtained a patent for his invention. He sought the endorsement of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the President of the Royal Academy, who held that Barker's paintings in the round "represented nature in a manner far superior to the limited scale of pictures in general,"[4] and encouraged his colleagues and patrons to see them. By 1794, Barker had erected a brick building ninety feet in diameter in Leicester Place, in which he could show two panoramas -- one upstairs from the other. Fabric screens concealed skylights in the roof, and wood paling hid the bottom edge of the pictures. Thus displayed, the painted view seemed borderless as well as the sole source of available light. From the viewer's platform, the illusion of standing on a hill or a building overlooking an actual landscape was complete. Panoramas of London and of the British Fleet at Spithead were the first two of over 100 subjects shown by Barker and his successors at the Leicester Square Panorama until its closing in 1863. Thanks to them, Leicester Square grew into the popular entertainment center of London that it remains today, and the world welcomed what some historians consider the first mass medium, the first true ancestor of the movies.[5]

By the early 1800s, the panorama had spread to countries all over Europe, but it came to America even earlier. In 1795, a copy of Barker's London panorama was exhibited in New York City. The medium's most renowned American projector -- and author of the second-oldest surviving panorama -- was the Paris-trained, neoclassical painter John Vanderlyn (1775-1852).[6] Foreseeing the American public's wariness and ignorance of the historical art he had been taught to paint, Vanderlyn looked to the new popular art of the panorama as a way of introducing European culture to New Yorkers. In Paris, he had known the inventor Robert Fulton, who had taken the panorama idea to France in 1798. In 1814, Vanderlyn made drawings of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, which he took to his hometown of Kingston, New York. In a barn there he transferred the drawings to a canvas measuring eighteen feet high by one hundred sixty feet in circumference. Vanderlyn completed the panorama in 1819, and installed it in a handsome, domed rotunda of brick he built with municipal blessing on the northeast corner of City Hall Park. On the second floor of the Rotunda, nearest the light source in the roof, Vanderlyn arranged the panorama, and in galleries on the first floor exhibited his portraits and historical subjects. All of it -- high art and low -- was available for twenty-five cents admission. It was an idealistic enterprise, really New York's first art museum. During the ten years of Vanderlyn's stewardship, panoramas from London were also shown in the Rotunda and even toured in other cities of America and in Canada. Vanderlyn died in 1852, and the Rotunda was torn down in 1870, but the Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles may still be seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By the 1830s, New York and other American cities were hosting newer forms of mass entertainment originating in both London and Paris, all capitalizing on the illusionistic novelty of the panorama's form and the cachet of its name. Just before the panorama-painter Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre invented the daguerreotype (one of the earliest photographic processes), he developed the Diorama in Paris, in 1822, and a brother-in-law soon established it in London.[7] The "Di" (a variant of Dia, from the Greek for "passing through") in Diorama indicated the changing effect that Daguerre was able to produce in a large-scale view. His canvas was of conventional, rectangular format framed by a plain, dark proscenium like movie screens of today. By rendering the scene in a combination of opaque and transparent pigments on both sides of the canvas, then lighting the image first from in front, then from behind, Daguerre conjured illusions of sunsets and oncoming storms, augmenting them, where appropriate, with sound effects. The "Di" prefix also suggested the novel manner Daguerre devised to exhibit his customary double bill. As one dioramic image concluded its performance, the entire dais supporting the audience pivoted before a second feature.

Smaller and probably cheaper variations on Daguerre's invention by British artists introduced America to the Diorama. The paintings and prints of John "Pandemonium" Martin, with their fiery imagery of Biblical catastrophes, were translated into dioramas, and prefigured "The Ten Commandments" and "Armageddons" of movie renown.[8] Martin's Belshazzar's Feast (1820; private collection), dramatizing the prophet Daniel's
warning to the King of Babylon about the enslavement of the Jewish people, became a diorama featured at Niblo's Garden on Broadway in March 1835.
[9] It was preceded there by The Departure of the Israelites from Egypt (based on David Roberts's 1829 painting in the Birmingham City Museums and Art Gallery). Such subjects exploited the fears and buttressed the faith of Britons and Americans tested by the financial swings and the Protestant controversies of the early nineteenth century. The taste, by turn, reflected back on the moral and religious serial landscapes of the American painter Thomas Cole, respectively, The Course of Empire (1836; The New-York Historical Society), The Voyage of Life (1840; Munson-Proctor-Williams Art Institute, Utica, New York), and the unfinished The Cross and the World (unlocated). The first two series were shown, like panoramas and dioramas, as pay-admission spectacles.[10] Panorama of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress was very much a natural successor to the latter two series by Cole, not merely in its theme but by virtue of the design contributions to the panorama by Cole's followers, the landscape painters Frederic Church and Jasper Cropsey.

For all the quantity and variety of panoramic fare in America, real public fever for it did not arise until 1846. That was the year an itinerant scene-painter named John Banvard brought his "three-mile picture" of the Mississippi River from the frontier town of Louisville, Kentucky, where he had painted it, to genteel Boston.[11] By the time the painting had completed its tour in New York, London, the British provinces, and even in Paris, an estimated two million people had seen one or the other of two versions of the subject that Banvard eventually produced. The folksy -- and eventually wealthy -- artist and raconteur became a fixture of Broadway show life through the Civil War; he had sired the most conspicuous, and possibly the most egregious, mass entertainment phenomenon of the nineteenth century.

Banvard and his moving panorama seemed so fresh that many Britons erroneously thought he had invented the form.[12] Having learned from P. T. Barnum that what the public believed was money in the bank, Banvard never contradicted anyone who so credited him. In fact, the moving panorama, like most of the other "-oramas" except the Diorama, had originated in Britain around 1820 almost simultaneously as a feature of dramatic stage presentations and as an independent showpiece.[13] It arrived in the former guise at the Park Theater on Broadway in 1828 as a scenic interlude to a play about a trip to London and Paris, and cast the illusion of the actors' voyage across the English Channel, with the watery scenery passing behind their stationary ferry. New York impresarios lost no time producing a Yankee response in the same house later that year: a play entitled A Trip to Niagara; or, Travellers in America, featuring a 200-foot moving canvas of the Hudson River from New York to Catskill Landing, as seen from the deck of a steamboat. Dioramic effects -- transitions from day to night and oncoming storms, painted on the canvas and enhanced by modifying the theater lights -- were integral to the moving panorama from its inception, and augmented such scenes in the Hudson River panorama as the cliffs of the Palisades and the Highlands at West Point.[14]

In a memoir, Banvard recalled visiting Vanderlyn's Rotunda as a boy growing up in New York City. Being artistically inclined, he had experimented with a few miniature dioramic subjects. But it was the vicarious steamboat journey represented in A Trip to Niagara and a few successors that prefigured his Mississippi River picture. By then, he had moved west to seek his fortune. At one point he converted a flatboat into a floating theater -- which he parked at piers up and down the Wabash and Mississippi Rivers to invite the public in to see his dioramas - -and often accepted farm produce for admission fees.[15] He also managed a museum in St. Louis, where a few lucky financial investments permitted him in 1840 to embark on what he claimed to be his abiding dream: to paint a moving picture of the Mississippi's major shoreline sites from its juncture with the Missouri south to the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, just that year in Boston, a scene-painter named John Rowson Smith had painted a short moving panorama of the Mississippi, like the one of the Hudson River, for a Boston stage production.[16] Another later contender in the Mississippi panorama market, Henry Lewis, claimed that he had confided his idea to Banvard for such a picture before the latter had launched his project.[17] Banvard may well have dreamed of his Mississippi panorama since his earliest days on the river, but his dream was evidently in the air. He simply had the quickest reflexes.

For over a year, Banvard descended the Mississippi in a little skiff, sleeping on the banks in its meager shelter, penciling broad stretches of the shore in numerous sketchbooks. After finishing the preparatory work in New Orleans, he built a large studio in Louisville and ordered tremendous skeins of cotton muslin from the mills at Lowell, Massachusetts. It took him over four years to translate his sketches into a series of thirty-eight scenes covering the eastern bank of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio River to New Orleans, on a twelve-foot-high bolt of cloth, said to have stretched 1,300 feet in length. Eventually, the picture was expanded to include the western bank of the Mississippi, as well as the scenery on the Ohio and Missouri Rivers, resulting in its being divided into two independent shows.[18] For sheer labor at least, Banvard might have claimed to be the Michelangelo of landscape painting.

In fact, Banvard had never benefited from any artistic training. The few easel paintings he left behind show that he was little more than a talented amateur, his chief métier being that of the theatrical scene painter, who produced merely broad, generalizing effects. His pretense to genius, which some critics cheerfully awarded him, lay chiefly in his proletarian charm and Yankee instinct for "modest" self-promotion, honed during his years on the river as an itinerant showman. When rain discouraged opening night attendance in Louisville, he gave away tickets to steamboat captains who, artistically innocent and flattered by their own familiarity with the scenes in the panorama, praised it ebulliently. Banvard promptly published their plaudits in newspapers and panorama programs, as he later did with those elicited from politicians, statesmen, clergymen, literary lions like Charles Dickens, even Queen Victoria, who reportedly bestowed upon him "a distinguished mark of her Royal Approbation." [19]

In London, the former New Yorker Banvard only exaggerated the frontier persona he had cultivated through his lectures with the panorama in Boston and New York, seasoning his remarks with original music played by his wife on the pianoforte. Hat in hand, he hastened to alert the audiences in Picadilly that he was not presenting his panorama "as a work of art, but as a correct representation of the country it portrays."[20] British reviewers, to be sure, criticized the picture's artistic qualities, especially measured against the circular panoramas at Leicester Square, but conceded patronizingly that the innocent qualities of Banvard's technique were one with the down-homeyness of the artist's stage presence, which was irresistible:

Upon a platform [next to his picture] is Mr. Banvard, who explains the localities as the picture moves, and relieves his narrative with Jonathanisms and jokes, poetry and patter, which delight his audience mightily.[21]

Banvard's narrative, moreover, included his personal experience on the Mississippi, his picture illuminating the settings of the frontier adventures he unquestionably lived -- and undoubtedly embroidered.

Almost as soon as Banvard reached England, he was hotly pursued by competitors envious of his fame and success. Understandably, John Rowson Smith, the creator of the early Mississippi panorama in Boston, was one of them. Smith rushed to Britain in 1849 with a "four-mile painting" of the river. Back in the States, at least four more panoramas of the subject circulated well into the 1850s, the decade of moving panorama fever.[22] Banvard had stimulated a transatlantic yen for moving travelogues that was only piqued by current events: the western explorations of the 1840s and '50s, the wresting of Texas and California from Mexico in 1848, and the concurrent discovery of gold near Sacramento, all of which loosed a flood of emigrants from the eastern United States and Europe and supplied a host of new subjects to would-be panoramists. Pictorial voyages around South America to San Francisco and the Gold Regions became familiar fare in the northeast cities,[23] as did a few panoramas of the overland route to the west coast through the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains. One such picture traced the 1842-44 expedition route of the famed Colonel John C. Fremont. However, none of the painters of the panorama, including one John Skirving and the academic artist Joseph Kyle (who shortly afterwards collaborated in the creation of both versions of Panorama of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress), had actually visited the west. They relied on the engravings of other artists' drawings that were published in Fremont's Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains... Oregon and North California (1845) and other recent western travel narratives." This lack of direct experience must have been detectable in both the panorama itself as well as in the accompanying lecture. Critics in London bore down much harder on Colonel Fremont's Overland Route than they had on Banvard's Mississippi, charging that "the trees are without distinct character of foliage, and the men and beasts are one and all badly drawn."[25] So much for the critics. By 1851, more than 350,000 Britons had paid a shilling each to see it.

By the Civil War decade, frontier panoramas -- as well as the huge landscape paintings of western subjects by Albert Bierstadt that traded on their popularity -- had become subjects of ridicule. Both were lampooned by the humorist Artemus Ward (the inspiration of Mark Twain) who lectured with a caricature panorama of the west in New York and London after the War.[26]

Despite a gradual dwindling of interest in moving panoramas since the 1850s, novel subjects usually served to prompt brief popular resurgences. Such variety of subjects continued thanks to the tireless exploratory impulse of the times. The decades' long search for the expeditionary party of England's Sir John Franklin, lost in the ice of coastal Labrador in 1845, inspired several moving panoramas. Perhaps the most popular was the first of several pictures based on the thrilling narrative of the naval surgeon Elisha Kent Kane, Arctic Explorations (1855).[27] Kane purported to have discovered the chimerical Open Polar Sea, then commanded the escape and rescue of his crew from their icebound ship down the coast of Greenland to civilization. The tropics of Costa Rica, including a trek into a volcanic crater, were illuminated in a panorama explained by the Irish orator and journalist Thomas Francis Meagher in New York and Washington in 1858.[28] The British were treated to panoramas of their empire, including Australia and the overland mail route to India.[29] Akin to the exploration panoramas were those representing whaling voyages; one in particular, Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington's Whaling Voyage Round the World, successfully toured throughout the East and Midwest from 1848 through 1851. Like Pilgrim's Progress, Whaling Voyage escaped the destruction of most moving panoramas; its hasty, almost childlike execution, measured against its evident popular appeal, is testimony both to the undemanding aesthetic standards of its audiences and to the lively appetite for travel and adventure among Americans at mid-century. Such taste was accommodated similarly by the early South Sea novels of Herman Melville, who based Moby Dick (1851) on true-life accounts of an 1820 whaling incident that was also portrayed in the panorama.[30]

The development of fast and cheap steam transportation on both land and water combined with the increasing size of the middle class to usher in the phenomenon of mass tourism by the 1850s. Panoramists rushed to cater to it, producing scores of pictorial excursions. Probably the most famous was Godfrey N. Frankenstein's Moving Panorama of Niagara Palls, whose opening at Broadway's Hope Chapel in July 1853 coincided exactly with the introduction of a railroad line to Niagara, which produced a huge increase in visitors to that perennially wondrous landmark. Frankenstein was a painter of considerable accomplishment: he had founded and originally led the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts, and since 1844 had visited the Falls almost annually to make paintings of the site from all angles and in every season.

The moving panorama phenomenon (and probably awareness of the railroad project) stimulated Frankenstein to turn his Niagara pictures into a grand enterprise. By necessity, the design of the panorama proved a departure from the vehicular, linear conceit of typical moving panoramas. The sequence of scenes most closely approximated a walking tour around the Falls encompassing the various points of view Frankenstein had sketched, including a tour in the Cave of the Winds, the damp, deafening passage behind the American Falls, and a ride on the Maid of the Mist, the tour boat that still plies the Niagara River below the Falls. However, at occasional intervals, the scenery segued suddenly from a daytime to a moonlight setting, and from a summer to a winter portrait of the cataract. As performances went on, the artist inserted topical scenes: the collapse of Table Rock at the Canadian Falls and a hapless boatman's fatal plunge over the American Falls. By staying current, Frankenstein kept his show thriving in New York for six months, and showed it elsewhere in America until at least 1865.[31] The panorama was perhaps the most conspicuous example of a glut of Niagara imagery in the 1850s, culminating in the panoramalike presentation of Frederic Church's wide-angle painting, Niagara, in 1857 (42 x 90 inches; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C). Both Niagara and Church's ten-foot wide painting of South America, The Heart of the Andes, 1859, were displayed in darkened rooms with overhead lighting focused exclusively on each painting to dramatize its effect.[32]

Many other North American landmarks became panorama fodder -- the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, even the western prairies[33] -- but a host of moving panoramas of the Old World testify to the rising interest in travel to Europe and beyond among many Americans who had either acquired or expected to acquire the means to go there. Then again, part of the audience for such pictures were the hordes of immigrants -- from Ireland, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, and elsewhere -- who yearned for reminders of the homelands many of them had reluctantly forsaken. Indeed, a mob of neo-Americans are portrayed in the only surviving scene of the Philadelphia artist Samuel B. Waugh's Mirror of Italy, or Italia, which opened in Philadelphia in 1849. Waugh's panorama toured the country on and off for at least eighteen years, and enjoyed lengthy New York runs in 1850 and 1859. The extant fragment, now in the Museum of the City of New York, constitutes the very first scene of the panorama. It shows the pier at Manhattan's Battery crowded with newly arrived Irish immigrants; a queue of them files into the processing station of Castle Garden, decades before Ellis Island was even contemplated. It may be that the ragtag regiment in this opening view was intended as an inducement to Yankee audiences to embark in the opposite direction across the Atlantic. That is surely where the panorama took them -- on an old-fashioned Grand Tour of Italy, from the northern lake district and Milan through Venice, Florence and Rome, culminating in Naples and Pompeii with a grand "Eruption of Vesuvius."[34]

Our survey might well conclude, if not chronologically, then thematically, with Panorama of the Holy Land, a product of the prodigiously popular European tour of the redoubtable Banvard and his "three-mile" Mississippi panorama. Humbled by his success, and responding to a sermon on good works he had heard in London, Banvard justified his piety and his purse in touring Palestine, then creating what was probably the largest moving picture ever -- variously described as measuring twenty-five or forty-eight (!) feet high. Back in America, on Broadway, he acquired his own theater, the "Georama," and ran performances there, as well as in Boston and Philadelphia, from 1854 to 1859. The passing imagery -- with, of course, Banvard on hand to describe the scenes -- transported the viewer by Mount Lebanon and the ruins of Baalbec, on to Tyre, Sidon, Nazareth, the River Jordan, the Plains of Jericho, Bethlehem, and finally Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Old and New Testaments.[35] With the healthy profits of his Mississippi and Holy Land panoramas, Banvard built a palatial house for his family at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, and remained a Broadway entertainment fixture for decades.

The taste for subjects like the Holy Land illuminate not merely Americans' territorial curiosity but the reflexively moralistic and religious mindset of a citizenry still predominantly Protestant in the mid nineteenth century. Banvard's Holy Land was surely a geographic tour, but its geography, as his professed inspiration for the panorama demonstrates, is also the landscape of Christian faith -- indeed, the goal of the Christian pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. The distinction between it and Kyle and Dallas's Panorama of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is only one of literal versus figurative landscape: Bunyan's Christian, the embodiment of the Protestant Everyman, makes a pilgrimage to his eternal reward (the Celestial City, or Heaven) through a landscape of trial and occasional consolation. The seventeenth-century allegory seems customized not merely for the author's fellow Puritans, some of whom -- the Pilgrims of Massachusetts -- had already gone to the New World to assume their predestined salvation, but also for the Pilgrims' descendants two hundred years later, who righteously fulfilled their Manifest Destiny to occupy the vast continent west of Plymouth Rock. If the tale's durability owes much to the Protestant revival in the early nineteenth century, it also seems, from our perspective, to have been tailor-made for a nation of God-fearing emigrants whose remaking of the New World required an ongoing re-devotion of themselves. Thus, the story's appeal in panoramic form must have been irresistible to its makers and to its contributors, including, in this almost unique instance, some of America's foremost artists.


1. Moving panoramas are generally treated in the context of the larger panorama phenomenon of the nineteenth century, which has been seriously addressed in several publications in recent years. Probably the most comprehensive and analytical of those is Stefan Oettermann, The Panorama; History of a Mass Medium rpt. and translated (New York: Zone Books, 1997), esp. pp. 323-344. See also Ralph Hyde, Panoramania! (exhibition catalogue, London: Barbican Art Gallery, 1988), esp. pp. 131-168. Perhaps the most entertaining account of moving panoramas is in Richard D. Altick, The Shows of London (Cambridge, MA.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978), pp. 198-210.

2. The length of moving panoramas is addressed with reference to those of the Mississippi River in John Francis McDermott, The Lost Panoramas of the Mississippi (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1958), pp. 165-167.

3. The invention of the panorama is most recently described in Oettermann, pp. 99-115.

4. Quoted in Oettermann, pp. 101, 103.

5. Ibid., p. 7; for panoramic precursors of the movies, see C. W. Ceram, Archaeology of the Cinema (London: Hudson and Thames, 1965).

6. The history of Vanderlyn's panorama is described in detail in Kevin J. Avery and Peter M. Fodera, John Vanderlyn's Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988).

7. For the invention and spread of the Diorama, see Oettermann, pp. 74-82.

8. Martin's direct influence on silent movie epics such as D. W. Griffith Intolerance (1916) is discussed in William Feaver, John Martin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), pp. 212-213.

9. Altick, pp. 414-415 see also Hyde, p. 123.

10. For the influence of panoramas and dioramas on Cole, see Ellwood C. Parry III, The Art of Thomas Cole (Newark, Del.. University of Delaware Press, 1988), pp. 174-176, 212, 246.

11. The career of Banvard (and of other Mississippi River panoramists) is described at length in McDermott, esp. pp. 19-46; see also Joseph Earl Arrington, "John Barvard's Moving Panorama of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers," Filson Club Historical Quarterly, 32 (July 1958), pp. 207-240.

12. A blurb attributed to the American statesman Edward Everett, that Banvard was "the first projector of this highly instructive class of paintings," was printed on the London editions of the panorama program, and was reprinted as fact in a review of the panorama from an unidentified newspaper in Bath, England. This and other reviews of his panorama were clipped and saved by Banvard in a scrapbook now in the Minnesota Historical Society. See Kevin J. Avery, "The Panorama and Its Manifestation in American Landscape Painting, 1795-1870," (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1995), p. 121.

13. For the origins of the moving panorama in Britain, see Altick, pp. 198-204.

14. For the Hudson River panorama, see Altick, p. 204; George C. D. Odell, Annals of the New York Stage (New York: Columbia University Press, 1928), III, pp. 407-408; William Dunlap, A Trip to Niagara (New York: E. B. Clayton, 1830), Oral S. Coad, William Dunlap (1917; rpt. New York: Russell and Russell, 1962), pp. 107-108.

15. Banvard's exploits on the Mississippi are amusingly retold by him in "Adventures of an Artist," Description of Banvard's Panorama of the Mississippi River (Boston: Putnam, 1847), pp. 4-5.

16. McDermott, pp. 49-50.

17. "Lewis's Panorama of the Mississippi River," Western Journal, 3 (October 1849), p. 70.

18. Arrington, pp. 210-214.

19. Quoted from a caption to a broadside illustration of Banvard exhibiting his panorama to Queen Victoria and her entourage at Windsor Castle, printed for a performance in North Shields, Leeds, England about 1851, Banvard Scrapbook, Minnesota Historical Society.

20. Clipping of undated review in The Times (London), Banvard Scrapbook, Minnesota Historical Society, p. 17.

21. "Banvard's Panorama of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers," Illustrated London News, 9 December 1848, quoted in McDermott, p. 43.

22. All described in McDermott, pp. 47ff.

23. John Francis McDermott, "Gold Rush Movies," California Historical Society Quarterly, 33 (March 1954), pp. 29-31.

24. John C. Fremont, Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44 (Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1845). For the panorama, see Joseph Earl Arrington, "Skirving Moving Panorama: Colonel Fremont's Western Expedition Pictorialized," Oregon Historical Quarterly, 45 (June 1864), pp. 139-143.

25. "Diorama of Fremont's Overland-Route to Oregon, Texas [sic], and California," Athenaeum (London), 27 April 1850, p. 457.

26. Curtis Dahl, "Artemus Ward: Comic Panoramist," New England Quarterly, 32 (March 1959), pp. 476-478; T. W. Robertson and E. P. Hingston, eds., Artemus Ward's Lecture (New York: G. W Carleton, 1869.

27. Elisha Kent Kane, Arctic Explorations: The Second Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin, 2 vols. (1856; rpt., London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1861); for the panorama, see [William Morton], Dr. Kane's Arctic Voyages; Explanatory of a Pictorial Illustration of the Second Grinnell Expedition (New York: n.p., 1857).

28. "T. F. Meagher's Illustrated Narrative of Central America," New York Herald, 9 November 1858, p. 5; Meagher's lecture was formalized in an article, including illustrations, entitled, "Holidays in Costa Rica," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 20 (December 1859), pp. 18-38; (January 1860), pp. 145-164; (February 1860), pp. 304-325.

29. Altick, pp. 207-208.

30. Kevin J. Avery, "Whaling Voyage Round the World: Russell and Purrington's Moving Panorama and Herman Melville's 'Mighty Book,'" American Art Journal, 22 (1990), p. 78.

31. Joseph Earl Arrington, "Godfrey N. Frankenstein's Moving Panorama of Niagara Falls," New York History, 49 (April 1968), pp. 169-199.

32. For the relationship of American and British painting exhibitions to panoramic exhibitions, see Kevin J. Avery, "The Heart of the Andes Exhibited: Frederic E. Church's Window on the Equatorial World," American Art Journal 18, no. 1 (1986), pp. 52-72.

33. See Joseph Earl Arrington, "William Burr's Moving Panorama of the Great Lakes, the Niagara, St. Lawrence, and Saguenay Rivers," Ontario History, 51 (Summer 1959), pp. 141-162.A

34. ItaIia; a Hand-Book Descriptive of the New Series of Italian Views (1855; rpt., Philadelphia: n.p., 1867).

35. Arrington, "Banvard's Panorama," pp. 233-237.

Please also see our illustrated article on The Grand Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress (8/16/99), which appeared at the Portland Museum of Art.

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