Object Detail

19th century
Paint on cotton
35 x 543 inches
Subject Category
Credit Line
Gift of the City of Rockland, Maine, 1950.719.2
Accession No
In 1849, Samuel Fuller suggested to Ebenezer Finch to create a panorama showing two views of the city of Rockland and one of Thomaston. They are the earliest documented views of what was then the Shore Village of Thomaston, which became incorporated as the city of Rockland in 1854. The view at the top shows Main Street in Rockland, and below is a view of the city from the harbor.

Fuller, seeking to help out the older portrait painter who had just come to Rockland, laid out the basic features of the three paintings for Finch to complete. Such long, horizontal paintings were both common and popular in mid-nineteenth century America. Their subjects included allegorical, mythological, and historical scenes. They were mounted on rolls, allowing small portions of a panorama to be shown at a time, usually in opera houses or similar venues to appreciative audiences who paid admission to see them – thus providing income to the artist. Their presentation was often accompanied by music and a script read by a presenter describing the scenes as they appeared.

Featured on a foldout in “Maine and American Art: Farnsworth Art Museum” with thanks to the Henry Luce Foundation and Wyeth Foundation for American Art.