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Bay Club Members View America’s Longest Painting

Panorama

Last month, Bay Club members were invited to view the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s exhibition of America’s longest painting, The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World.  The painting was on display for a short time in the nearby historic Kilburn textile mill.  Painted in 1848 by New Bedford artists, Caleb Purrington and Benjamin Russell, the 1,275-foot painting is longer than the Empire State Building is tall, and depicts a nineteenth century whaling voyage originating from a New Bedford port to the Azores, Cape Verde, Rio de Janeiro and beyond.

It was initially designed as a moving panorama (a form of entertainment during that time, preceding the age of cinema) with multiple scrolls moving across a stage.  Though after many years on display, the wear and tear on the painting was so extensive, it was believed to be impossible to conserve and therefore, worthless.  It was donated to the Whaling Museum in 1918 and following decades of conservation planning and research, the 170-year-old painting was brought back to life and displayed for the public to enjoy (not in its original moving form.)

More than 30 members made the trip to the museum and enjoyed learning about this national treasure and historical depiction of the prominent New Bedford industry.

To view photos of the painting being brought to life in the mill, please click here.

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Date: Thursday, 1. November 2018 11:57
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