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Samuel Guernsey and Theodore Pitman Dioramas

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dch
  • Member since
    April, 2013
Samuel Guernsey and Theodore Pitman Dioramas
Posted by dch on Monday, April 29, 2013 4:30 PM

From approximately 1930-1955 Samuel Guernsey and Theodore Pitman constructed a number of exacting, detailed, historically accurate and simply spectacular diorama's. The Guernsey-Pitman Studios are perhaps best known for their 23 large dioramas located at the Harvard Forest Museum in Petersham, Massachusetts. These incredibly accurate dioramas depict what a particular portion of land in Massachusetts would have looked over three centuries. Guernsey and Pitman also constructed three dioramas depicting the Harvard University campus and surrounding lands as it would have looked in the years 1677, 1775 and 1936; a diorama of the Alamo; two American revolutionary war dioramas, one of the Battle at Concord Bridge and the other entitled "Battle Road" showing the Massachusetts Minutemen firing upon the British Expeditionary Force during its return march to Boston; and four dioramas depicting major events in America's military history including Washington at Valley Forge; the USS Constitution's battle with HMS Guerriere; Pickets charge into the center of Union lines at the angle on the third day's fight at Gettysburg; and the 26th Infantry Division at the World War I Battle of Seicheprey.

As far as my research has taken me, other than the above dioramas, Guernsey and Pitman left no concise written and/or photographic legacy or history of all the dioramas that were built at their Harvard Square studio in Cambridge, MA. Is my research complete or correct, or is there something I'm missing or somewhere else I should be looking? Any information or suggestions would be appreciated. 

Tags: Dioramas
  • Member since
    May, 2018
Posted by Steelch1268 on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:07 AM

Hi dch - Not sure if you are still receiving replies to this post, but I am working with volunteers in Newton MA as they are sprucing up the War Memorial at City Hall.  The memorial houses four of the displays that you mention, and I'd love to find out what other information you were able to find as we are trying to put better documentation in place at the memorial.

 

Please let me know and we will find out a way to connect.

 

dch
  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by dch on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:18 PM
Hello - I'm still modelling, diorama building and doing historical research. Curiously I met with the City Clerk David Olson a few years ago to discuss the very work that you seem to be undertaking. He never replied to my offer. I'm semi-retired and still live in Newton, about a mile from City Hall. I would be interested in knowing about or being a part of any volunteer work being done or planning to be done on the "Fabulous Four" or on the larger project of redesigning Newton's War Memorial. Best regards, David Hoover

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