My dear Friends:
How much can I tell you in 45 minutes? I pictured eons of time to write all about the wonders of Georgia. But how wrong I was! However, we'll work fast - and beat Father Time. I wish I could describe the beauty of the peach tree blossoms and the lush azaleas at this time. The daffodils and jonquils are still standing - tall and straight, lifting their cups to the sun and the rain. If you have been envying me the supposedly warm, sunny climate for the past two weeks, you may bury the green-eyed monster. For they tell me that Atlanta has had its first real winter this month. It was warm and sunny when I arrived - but the rain and the cold came two days later. Atlanta is high above sea level - the highest city, they say, east of the Rockies. That accounts for the comfortable summers. My week-days are completely filled - with detailed reports in the evening. But last Sunday afternoon my good landlady and I took our first excursion (by city bus) to Grant Park, where the world-famous Cyclorama of the "Battle of Atlanta" is housed. This great panorama painting is fifty feet in height and measures 400 ft. in circumference. It weighs 18,000 lbs. and consumed 8,000 pounds of paint in its production. That gives you an idea of its vastness. But I could never describe to you the skill and artistry of the three German painters, Lohr, Lorenz, and Heine, who painted this masterpiece in 1885 and '86. The visitors stand on a raised circular platform, with a narrow catwalk around the outside for the beautiful, raven-haired young woman, who points, with her big flashlight arrow, to each scene, as the recorded male voice describes it. She adds many pertinent details. No wonder Sherman said, "War is hell." For there you see it in all its ghastly reality. The native Atlantans, whose grandfathers fought in that bitter battle of July 22, 1864, say that the buildings and ravines and forests are historically correct.
Because of the close resemblance of the Blue and the Gray uniforms, the artists decided to dress the Confederates in Khaki. That is the only false note - which could not be avoided. In the foreground - between the viewers and the painted panorama - is the three-dimensional scene - with a radius of about 40 ft. - of real Georgia red clay, blasted tree stumps, trees, bushes, torn rails, and the Plaster Paris figures of fighting, wounded, and dead soldiers. I vow you cannot tell where the 3-dimensional ends and the vertical painting begins. (to be continued) -
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 4/5/50 - Holy Week. Still in Atlanta GA
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