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Restoring an American Treasure: The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley
June 12–August 21, 2011

John J. Egan, American (born Ireland), 1810–1882; Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley (scene 20 of 25), c.1850; tempera on lightweight fabric;
90 in. x 348 ft. (228.6 x 10607.1 cm); Saint Louis Art Museum, Eliza McMillan Trust 34:1953

This summer the Saint Louis Art Museum will embark on an ambitious conservation project to save a historic treasure of local significance, the only surviving panorama of the Mississippi River. Working in the Main Exhibition Galleries, a team of conservators will provide visitors the unique opportunity to view the restoration of this 348-foot-long painting. The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley (1850) was commissioned by Dr. Montroville W. Dickeson and created by artist John J. Egan. While the subjects of Panorama vary widely across time and cultures, the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys serve as the backdrop for many of the 25 scenes. Dickeson exhibited Panorama in the 1850s, giving his own live narration.

With conservation led by Paul Haner, paintings conservator, and curatorial oversight by Janeen Turk, senior curatorial assistant, Restoring an American Treasure will be on view in the Main Exhibition Galleries free of charge from June 12–August 21, 2011.

This restoration project is made possible through the support of U.S. Representative William "Lacy" Clay and U.S. Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. Any views, finding, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Exhibition support has been provided by Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

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