The Panorama

A Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World: Melville’s Inspiration Revisited

2014 Update: Restoration of the World’s Longest Painting is on Its Way. Through the generosity of the Stockman Family Foundation and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities the Museum is moving forward on a long-awaited project, the restoration of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, the Whaling Museum showcased one of the novel’s most compelling sources of inspiration – Russell and Purrington’s 1,300-foot-long moving panorama – in the Special Exhibit Gallery.

1,300-foot-long moving panorama
Russell and Purrington’s 1,300-foot-long panorama


Visitors were given the opportunity to watch Museum staff and art conservators restore this engaging panorama; see selections of Benjamin Russell’s beautiful watercolors; listen to narration based on this wonderful story; and hear music of the period. A digitized version of the panorama, presented on DVD, was also  displayed as it was shown in the mid-19th century on a full-size stage.

Last modified: April 12, 2016