Eastman Museum installs Colorama for new visitor center opening
As the George Eastman Museum continues its renovations, a reproduction of a Colorama image is being installed adjacent to the museum’s new Thomas Tischer Visitor Center, scheduled to open to the public Oct. 10.
The structure to display the Colorama has been built at the north end of the museum’s parking lot near the new main entrance at the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion. The new Colorama is 48 feet wide and more than 14 feet tall and is an 80 percent scale reproduction of the original Colorama that was installed in Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
The Colorama was one of Eastman Kodak Co.’s longest-running advertising campaigns that was first conceived in 1949. The massive backlit transparencies were designed to demonstrate the brilliance of color photography and advertise Kodak color film products to a mass market.
Until 1990, a new Colorama was installed every few weeks, resulting in a total of 565 transparencies. The advertising campaign ended in 1990 as Grand Central Terminal prepared for renovations and each giant transparency was destroyed.
But in 2010, Kodak donated the original photographic negatives, transparencies and guide prints used to create them to the George Eastman Museum, which preserved the objects.
The first installation is Colorama No. 531, a photograph of Taj Mahal, India, by photographer Steve Kelly. The original was installed in Grand Central Terminal in 1986.
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