I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about the most outstanding feature of PARI's headquarters in The Panorama Room on the Orchard Lake campus. That feature is what gives the room its name, a panorama. This particular panorama is best described as a stage with moving doll-like figures accompanied by a narrative that tells how each figure is connected with Poland's history. That is a simple description of a very beautiful piece of movable art.
Here is a picture of the room facing the panorama stage. If we zoom in on the stage you can more clearly see the moving figures.
Each figure is approximately 24" tall and in total there are 106 of them. The three figures pictured above are Cardinal Maida, Pope John Paul II, and Fr. Dabrowski. These three happen to be religious figures but there are figures from all points in history and all walks of life.
They move along a track entering from the left of the stage...
... and exiting off the right.
Behind the stage is an entire room full of these figures. It's awesome to behold!
You can see here how they revolve when they get to the end of a row and continue on their merry way.
These figures were commissioned by Orchard Lake Schools for the 100th anniversary of the campus (1985). They were created by theatrical designers in Poland and brought here to be assembled into the panorama. There is a recorded narrative that accompanies their promenade. It's quite a show!
At the present time, these figures are in need of maintenance and repair. PARI plans to have the figures and their costumes restored under the supervision of the preservationists at the Benson Ford Research Center/Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn (great source of information for archiving and preservation of your family documents and heirlooms). This restoration project will be quite an undertaking and will require donations and volunteers. They are in the early stages of putting together a sponsorship program to raise the money required to complete the project.
Now, I could have made a video of this panorama but I didn't. Why? Because I want you to go PARI's home in the Panorama Room on the Orchard Lake School campus and see the figures for yourself! Make the trip... bring your notes, research your family history, learn about the Polish culture, access databases you don't have at home, view the folk art, meet Ceil Jensen, and see the panorama! No excuses now, just do it!
You can get all the details you need to know about times, dates, and location here.
See ya at PARI!
The Complete PARI Series:
PARI, Part 1, Who, What, When, Where, and Why
PARI, Part 2, The Computers and Databases
PARI, Part 3, Special Collections
PARI, Part 4, The Art
PARI, Part 5, The Wall
PARI, Part 6, The Panorama Room