The story of 16-year-old Abbie Burgess keeping the lights burning at Maine’s Matinicus Rock Lighthouses in 1856 has been told over and over in numerous articles and books. But this past January her story was told for the first time ever on an illuminated panoramic moving 60-foot sailcloth that was displayed in the storefront windows of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine.
The work was created by Maine artist Annie Bailey who has a background in animation and illustration. She felt that Abbie Burgess’ story of heroism lent itself to being told through a moving panorama, a type of storytelling that was popular during Burgess’ lifetime. The moving form of art has since come back into popularity in the last decade.
Another local artist, Andy White, helped Bailey create the mechanism that moved the panorama. The mechanism consists of a moving cylinder powered by a treadmill motor on one side of the scroll and a non-motorized cylinder on the other side of the scroll, which keeps the 60-foot-long stretched and painted piece of sail cloth continuously moving in a loop.
We’ve been told that the panorama is now going to the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine where is will soon be going on display. (Photos courtesy Farnsworth Art Museum.)
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2019 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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