Fourteen years after being found washed up on a Halibut Cove beach, the complete skeleton of a gray whale is now gracing the exhibit hall in Homer’s Pratt Museum.
Scott Bartlett is Curator of Exhibits at the Pratt Museum. He says the 38-foot whale skeleton is the largest single artifact the museum has ever put on display. It took dozens of local volunteers, working with museum staff, to prepare the gray whale for display.
Volunteer Lee Post has been working with the Pratt Museum for 34 years on projects like the whale. He says it was nice to get the skeleton out of the 18-by-22-foot workshop where it had been for months and into the museum’s main gallery.
"The logistics of trying to do this large a whale in this small of a space with the group of people that we had ... it was quite a project," said Post.
The whale is now hanging in the Pratt Museum as part of an exhibit called “Encounters: Whales In Our Waters,” a title that Post says is especially appropriate.
"This exhibit its a tribute to all of the people that have encountered this whale from 1999 until now," he said. "In this particular case, it's 150 people ... that have encountered this whale in the form of the project."
The exhibit opened Friday night with a reception at the Pratt Museum. Post says visitors will find that although the whale skeleton looms large, there is more to the exhibit than just the large whale from Halibut Cove.
The gray whale exhibit will be on display at the Pratt Museum until July 21st.