QUEENS MUSEUM UNVEILS STATE-OF-THE-ART LIGHTING FOR PANORAMA EXHIBIT
WITH ASSISTANCE FROM AMAZON STUDIOS
The unveiling is timed to coincide with the US release of the Todd Haynes' film Wonderstruck,
which was partly filmed on the Panorama.
Panorama of the City of New York. Image courtesy Queens Museum. Photo by Max Touhey.
Queens, N.Y. [Oct. 25, 2017] -- The Queens Museum unveils a state-of-the-art lighting system to shine on the renowned Panorama of the City of New York, the world's largest scale model featuring the famous five boroughs. Commissioned for the 1964 World's Fair, the model comprises over 895,000 plastic and hand-painted wooden structures that represent the built and natural environment of New York City, from the Rockaways in Queens to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The Panorama resides at the center of the Queens Museum, in a 10,000 square foot, dedicated gallery.
The replacement of the outdated lighting system is made possible by Amazon Studios on the occasion of the national release of Wonderstruck, a movie in part filmed directly on the Panorama where one of the lead characters, a young boy named Ben (Oakes Fegley), is guided through the exhibit by his grandmother Rose (Julianne Moore). This extraordinary gift allows the Queens Museum to not only create a contemporary lightning scheme with brilliant LED lights that is sustainable, but also bring back the legendary night-lighting of the Panorama. Only those who attended the 1964 World's Fair, or visited the Museum before the early 1990s will have experienced the psychedelic effect of black light on the Panorama, which transforms the model into an immersive, after-dark experience. The new lighting scheme will make use of specialized software that will mimic the transition from day to night for all Panorama visitors.
President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum Laura Raicovich says, "Without Amazon Studios' generosity, the Queens Museum would not be able to present the Panorama in all its glory. It is indeed the centerpiece of the Museum, and is both an extraordinary historical object, and an invaluable tool for our present and future. The story of Wonderstruck beautifully captures the capacity for museums to create meaning in the world, and to inspire moments of magic. "
"The Panorama is one of the great treasures of New York City," noted Brian Selznick, writer of Wonderstruck, "I think it's impossible for visitors not to be entranced by it. The model immediately becomes personal as you point out all the places you know, the places you've lived, visited, walked. I hope that Wonderstruck, and the restoration of the Panorama's lighting to its original magnificence, will encourage even more people to take the trip out to Queens where they can spend the afternoon discovering a miniature masterpiece, hiding in plain sight."