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 Decatur Stephan McDannell  (1830 - 1890)

About: Decatur Stephan McDannell


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Lived/Active: Illinois/Ohio      Known for: mountain landscape painting

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Ad Code: 4
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
"Decatur McDannell was an artist by profession who painted many notable canvasses.  Some of his favorite subjects were scenes in the Rocky Mountains.  However, his great fame and his most notable artistic achievement was painting a magnificent copy of the panorama of the Battle of Gettysburg, which for years was housed as a feature in a building at Chicago and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Decatur McDannell died at Moline, Illinois, in 1890." (

The original canvas of the Battle of Gettysburg was by Paul Philippoteaux and was painted in Paris.  There it was exhibited with one reviewer describing it as “the best masterpiece of its kind in the world”.   Shipped to Chicago, it hung in the rotunda at Wabash and Hubbard court, and opened to the public October 21,1883, the first panorama in American to depict a battle from the Civil War.

Decatur McDanell most likely would have done the copy when he worked for the Reed & Gross panorama company of Chicago, which made copies of the Battle of Gettysburg in their Englewood studio.  Copies were done on panorama canvas 50 x 400 and were placed in public buildings.

Submitted by Gene Meier

Illinois Historic Art Project
A Narrative History of The People of Iowa, with Special Treatment of Their Chief Enterprises in Education, Religion, Valor, Industry, Business, etc., by Edgar Rubey Harlan, LL.B., A.M., Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa, Volume IV, The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, 1931

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