• Panorama Rouen 1431
    created by Yadegar Asisi in 2016
    photo © asisi

Grand Views: The Immersive World of Panoramas

Friday, 16 June 2023

Revealing the art and history behind some of the world’s largest paintings

May 13–September 10, 2023
Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn–Glendale

GLENDALE, CA—Forest Lawn Museum, in collaboration with the Velaslavasay Panorama, is proud to present Grand Views: The Immersive World of Panoramas.  The exhibition explores the history of panoramic paintings, an immersive, large-scale artistic format popularized in the 18th and 19th centuries. Presented by two distinguished, decades-old arts institutions and panorama experts, Grand Views will feature an array of artworks and artifacts spanning the late 18th century to present, including never-before-displayed preparatory paintings, 19th-century prints and posters, a painted movie backdrop, and more. Organized thematically, the exhibition addresses three major topics:     the early history of panoramas, crucifixion panoramas, and panoramas in Hollywood and Los Angeles. In addition, Forest Lawn will launch a new documentary-style audio visual program on     Jan Styka’s Crucifixion, during the run of the exhibition.

A centerpiece of the exhibition is Panorama of the Valley of the Smokes (60 ft. x 5 ft.). Painted by     Sara Velas (Founder of the Velaslavasay Panorama) in 2000, the panorama visualizes the natural landscape of Los Angeles before the city became a metropolis and in the century prior to the arrival    of the film industry. Archival photographs, ephemera, and a newly constructed model of the rotunda where Valley of the Smokes was originally displayed will be exhibited alongside the artwork.

Grand Views also includes prints, broadsides, and other artworks from the Erkki Huhtamo Media Archaeology Collection. Dating from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries, these rare objects are related to panoramas exhibited in the United States, Europe, and Asia throughout the "heritage era" of the panoramic medium. The artifacts address topics ranging from world travel to the American Civil War.

The Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection, located next to Forest Lawn Museum, showcases the Crucifixion (195 ft. x 45 ft.), which was painted by Polish artist Jan Styka in the 1890s. The exhibition features original artifacts related to Jan Styka’s colossal painting and other crucifixion panoramas. The Resurrection (70 ft. x 51 ft.), which was painted by American artist Robert Clark, is also on display in the Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection. Completed in 1965, Clark’s work was commissioned by Forest Lawn as a companion to Styka’s painting. Grand Views features never-before-displayed preparatory paintings for the Resurrection, including works by Clark, fine artist and Disney Imagineer, Herbert Ryman, and artist Allyn Cox, who painted murals in the United States Capitol.

Panoramic paintings have long influenced cinema and other immersive media formats. The final section of Grand Views features a Hollywood backdrop (21 ft. x 15 ft.), which was painted in the 1950s. It is displayed alongside other cinema artifacts, including original film strips on loan from    3-D SPACE (The Center for Stereoscopic Photography, Art, Cinema, and Education).

James Fishburne, Forest Lawn Museum Director, said, “As the home to the largest panoramic painting in the Western United States, Forest Lawn is thrilled to bring this immersive panoramic experience to our community, and particularly, to Hollywood, where large-scale painted backdrops have transformed studio lots into the settings for countless films. We are grateful to collaborate with our knowledgeable and inventive partner, the Velaslavasay Panorama, for this exhibition.”

Sara Velas, who also serves as Co-President of the International Panorama Council, said, “We are excited to celebrate panoramas, to showcase a range of artworks and artifacts, and to create continuity among the long history of the art form and the ways it continues to evolve alongside technological and artistic advances in the 21st century.” The exhibition is co-curated by Velas, Fishburne, and Ruby Carlson. Carlson is a writer and Co-Curator at the Velaslavasay Panorama.

There will be an opening reception on Saturday, May 13 from 5:00 PM–7:00 PM at Forest Lawn Museum. The evening will include free exhibition tours, live music, and complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The free, family-friendly event includes free parking, and is open to the public, ADA compliant, and wheelchair accessible. Guests are invited to RSVP to museum@forestlawn.com or 323-340-4782.

For additional information about the exhibition, Forest Lawn Museum, or Forest Lawn, or to request images or interviews, please contact Tom Smith at 323.340.4742 or tsmith@forestlawn.com.

Media Preview: There will be a media preview for the exhibition on May 13 from 4:00 PM-5:00 PM. For details about the media preview, members of the press are invited to email Tom Smith at tsmith@forestlawn.com.

Upcoming Events: Check https://forestlawn.com/events/ and https://www.instagram.com/forestlawnmuseum/ for more information and announcements about upcoming events.

Museum visiting hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection visiting hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 10:00 AM–4:30 PM. Visitors can view Jan Styka’s 195 ft. x 45 ft. painting of the Crucifixion. For more details see https://forestlawn.com/exhibits/the-hall-of-crucifixion-resurrection/.  Great Mausoleum visiting hours: Daily from 9:30 AM–4:15 PM
Admission and parking to Forest Lawn Museum, the Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection, and the Great Mausoleum are FREE.
For more information or to schedule a free group tour, please call 323.340.4782, email museum@forestlawn.com, or visit https://forestlawn.com/museum.

Forest Lawn Museum first opened in 1952 and is now comprised of three galleries and a gift shop. The renowned permanent collection of sculpture, stained glass windows, mosaics, and architecture is spread across Forest Lawn’s six Southern California locations. Forest Lawn’s founder, Dr. Hubert Eaton, wrote in his Builder’s Creed that our park should be “a place where artists study and sketch; where school teachers bring happy children to see the things they read of in books.” In that spirit, selections of Forest Lawn Museum’s permanent collection of photographs, paintings, and bronze and marble sculptures are on display in the museum’s front gallery. Forest Lawn Museum typically dedicates two galleries to world-class rotating exhibits, which focus on topics ranging from aerial photography to puppetry to stained glass.

Forest Lawn Museum is located adjacent to the Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection, which houses the Crucifixion, a 195-foot wide by 45-foot high painting by Polish artist     Jan Styka. Other notable pieces in Forest Lawn’s collection can be found in the Great Mausoleum, including the Last Supper stained glass window by artist Rosa Caselli-Moretti, the Poets’ Windows, and marble replicas of Michelangelo’s Moses and Pietà.

The Velaslavasay Panorama is an exhibition hall, theatre, and garden dedicated to the production and presentation of multisensory, immersive experiences including contemporary adaptations of 19th Century panoramic paintings. The central 360° exhibition encircles the spectator within a fully enveloping atmosphere; a vast painting of a continuous landscape is accompanied by a changing sound and light cycle and three-dimensional elements, affording the viewer an opportunity to experience a complete sensory phenomenon. The Velaslavasay Panorama curates public programs including: illustrated lectures, film screenings and presentations that vary from toy theatre to music workshops on the glass armonica. The current panorama-onview is Shengjing Panorama, a 360° painting of Shenyang, China in the years 1910-1930. This artwork is a landmark collaboration between the Velaslavasay Panorama and experts of Chinese panorama painting.

The Velaslavasay Panorama: 1122 West 24th Street Los Angeles, CA 90007.
For special inquiries, please email panorama@panoramaonview.org or call (213) 746-2166.      Open by Appointment on Fridays and Saturdays. To book, visit the website: https://www.panoramaonview.org/home