Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Preserving Orchard Lake's Polish Panorama

October 9, 2012 Innovation Impact

Conservators at The Henry Ford have begun to work on the second group of figurines belonging to Polish Mission in Orchard Lake, Mich.

The figurines, which are part of a Panorama created by architect Zbigniew Baran, have educated and entertained audiences, both young and old, for more than 30 years. It’s the only historical Polish Panorama in North America. The 106 characters of the panorama, which dramatizes the history of Poland, are drawn from the struggles of writers, peasants, saints, statesman, soldiers, and artists to remain faithful to the ideals of Christianity and the Polish nation.

Baran, together with THF Head Conservator Mary Fahey and her staff, are working to clean, conserve and restore missing elements of the figures in addition to developing a plan for their long-term care and preservation.

Textile Conservator Fran Faile cleans a figurine using a small vacuum attachment.

Missing elements such as the sword and crucifix for the Mieszkol I (the first king of Poland) figurine were fabricated using historical images as references. Check out the images (below) of the figurine before and after conservation.

Polish Panorama Conservation

Polish Panorama Conservation

To see the panorama in action, take a look at this video from WDIV Detroit in 2011. To learn more about the efforts to continue the conservation work of the figures, take a look at this site.

Report by Mary Fahey

20th century, 1980s, 21st century, 2010s, Michigan, conservation, collections care, by Mary Fahey

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