In 2001, the Museum’s famous blue whale model did not look as it does today. First constructed in the mid-1960s, the model was based on photographs of a female blue whale that had been found dead in 1925. At the time, little was known about what blue whales looked like in the wild.
By the time the Hall of Ocean Life closed for renovation in 2002, Museum artists had many photographs and footage of live whales on which to base their work. They flattened the model’s once-overly bulging eyes, accurately redesigned the whale’s blowholes, and tapered the tail. Using about 25 gallons of cobalt and cerulean blue paint, the team also recolored and respotted the grayish blue whale.
When the Irma and Paul Milstein Hall of Ocean Life reopened in 2003, the newly renovated gallery was transformed. Come celebrate the 10th anniversary of this beloved hall on Sunday, May 19, at the family-friendly Milstein Science Series: Whales.