Just like The Pilgrim’s Progress itself, it’s been a long journey, full of pitfalls, and we’re not there yet–but I’m so pleased to announce that I’ve passed a major gatepost on my quest to publish a book on The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress!
The Dyer Library and Saco Museum, owner of the panorama, has just signed a contract with the University Press of New England. Publication is slated for 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 yours truly 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 mine 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 or the panorama blog to receive updates about the panorama book project, or contact me 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 visit the panorama blog at panoramaofpilgrimsprogress.wordpress.com.
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