Newark, N.J. [ca. 1850]. Broadside, 20 3/4 x 8 inches. Minor chipping to corners, mild edge wear and wrinkling, old center horizontal crease, some staining, mostly marginal. Good plus. Item #WRCAM54671
An attractive broadside publicizing a lecture by amateur archaeologist Montroville W. Dickeson on the "antiquities & customs of the unhistoried Indian tribes," based on his having "spent twelve years of his life opening Indian mounds," and the exhibition of a massive panorama painted by John J. Egan, commissioned by Dickeson, depicting twenty-five different fanciful historical and cultural scenes in the setting of the Mississippi Valley. According to the advertisement, "This gorgeous panorama, with all the aboriginal monuments of a large extent of country, once roamed by the Red Man...covers over 15,000 feet of canvass! It has been pronounced by our Celebrated Artists to be the most finished and magnificent picture ever presented to the public." The "Monumental Grandeur" panorama is the only one of six original Mississippi Valley panoramas that still survives today (it is located at the Saint Louis Museum). This broadside advertises the original use for which Dickeson commissioned the work around 1850, as an accompaniment to his lectures on the history of the valley and the archaeology and culture of resident native Americans. Egan's paintings were not displayed in the round, but rather they were woven together and placed on rollers so each individual scene could be cranked into place in order to illustrate Dickeson's talk. The connected images created a work that is approximately 387 feet in length. A splendid broadside, promoting a great artistic feat from the mid- 19th century. Very rare, with only six copies located in OCLC.