NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The New Bedford Whaling Museum is preparing to reveal a historic piece of artwork that a special team has been working for years to restore.
This piece of artwork, titled “Whaling Voyage Round the World,” is a panorama that is nearly 1,300 feet long and took 20 years of planning and work to restore.
The mammoth painting was created by a local businessman in 1848 and portrays 240 scenes from New Bedford to New Zealand, illustrating what the artist wanted people to understand about a true Yankee whaling voyage. It is believed to be one of the longest paintings in the entire country.
“It’s an absolute treasure,” Michael Dyer, the museum’s curator of maritime history, said.
Around 1,000 hours of work was put into restoring the painting. The painting was constantly being rolled up and ended up ripping many times
“That really adds to the history of it,” Kate Tarleton, who worked on restoring the painting, said. “It’s not a pristine, perfect object. It shows its life that way.”
The museum’s chief curator, Christina Connett, said this painting has not been viewed by the public since the 1960s.
Due to its size, the museum is still searching for a venue to host the exhibit for the artwork. The painting is expected to be on exhibit for the public by summer 2018.