You Gotta See This

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Artist Svetlana Bovrushkina paints while restoring the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark, in the Lower East Side September 12, 2007 in New York City. The synagogue was completed in 1887 and is the first building in the U.S. designed and built to be a synagogue by eastern European Jews. The Eldridge Street Project?s $16 million restoration campaign is scheduled to be completed in December. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The longest painting in North American is currently being restored. Museum curators in New Bedford, Massachusetts took on the project in order to revive the history of American whaling. According to the Associated Press, the historic image is a “quarter-mile-long panorama”.

Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington were the artists behind the captivating image. They finished the panorama in 1848 where it was taken on tour around the country. When the painting would arrive at a theater, they would have to crank the entire panorama on the stage. Those would wanted to see the stories of whale hunting would have to pay 25 cents.

Since the image toured the country more than a well-known rock band, it slowly deteriorated. From rolling and unrolling the scrolled-up artwork, the paint began to flake off and the image was slowly being destroyed. One of the last known times the image was seen in the public was when a section was placed on display at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Since then, it has hidden in storage watching for someone with serious skills to give the legendary piece a face lift. It wasn’t until this year that The New Bedford Whaling Museum decided to take on the challenge.

Manager of the project, D. Jordan Berson is hoping, once the piece is finished, to be able to place it on tour again. The group is also looking to find a large venue in order to display the long “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World”. Associated Press noted that they are looking for “locations in New Bedford but open to considering Providence, Rhode Island, or the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.”

Benson noted to AP the image is “a national treasure that’s been out of the spotlight for too long”.


Sarah is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp 

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