Commonplace Book #84

The fantasy element expected by tourists [in the late 19th century] gave Gettysburg a special appeal.  For all the aesthetic stock placed in scenery, it also served as entertainment.  When industrialization shattered time and space, entrepreneurs jumped into the new market for expansive views of the world with travelogues, images, stereographs, simulated environments, observatories, or great “panoramas” of scenery or events that enabled viewers to transcend time and place.  In terms of illusion, the panorama provided a “time machine” effect through a sweeping, participatory view of the scene; metaphorically, it reinforced the middle-class sense of command and control.  This heightened sense of escaping confinement and extending experience became a feature of genteel tourism at Gettysburg.

Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory,  Market, and an American Shrine46.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s