Long-Lost Etchings

Check out these lost-but-found Portland etchings by 19th Century artist Russell Richardson. Recently discovered by a member of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and scanned from large-format paper negatives.

This set of 17 Russell Richardson etchings of Portland dates to the late 1800's. These were found recently in the form of 6x9" paper negatives, and are unavailable anywhere else online.

The Observer has reached out to the Maine Historical Society (which has only one of these engravings digitized, the Maine General Hospital etching, albeit in lesser quality), offering to donate the lot of paper negatives and high-quality scans.

After performing a Google Image search against all 17 pieces, we have seen only three of these appear online, but in very limited instances, and the quality was quite poor and the images very small.

The Observatory image, featured above, was used in the 1876 book Portland and Vicinity (Elwell), the 1879 book A Summer's Vacation at the White Mountains (Third Season), and, later, Portland by Greater Portland Landmarks.

The website of the First Parish Church uses a tiny version of its Richardson etching. UC Berkely uses the etching "Middle St. Before the Great Fire of '66" generically in its online research magazine "Access".

Tagged: historyartetchingportlandbuilt environment,downtown