The fin whale skeleton that was located by the Center’s main entrance, has moved on to a new home: Knox College in Galesburg, IL. As part of a renovation of their science building, the skeleton will be featured in its large atrium that will face outward toward the campus.
Collected by Seacoast Science Center after washing ashore after the 2012 hurricane Sandy, the skeleton was too heavily damaged to make it suitable for costly articulation. Instead, our exhibit crew displayed the bones as a representation of a behind-the-scenes look at the process of putting an exhibition together. While the popular exhibit was captivating and educational, displaying the bones outdoors was problematic, as exposure to the elements was accelerating its decay.
Over the next year, the Knox College art department will test techniques, paints, and sculpting approaches to repair and reconstruct the skeleton. In fall of 2019, they will teach a collaborative course for biology and art students who will work together to reconstruct each bone, fill in the pieces that are missing, and put ribs back into their proper shape. When all repairs have been made they will assemble the whale in place.
We are pleased that our fin whale skeleton is moving on for a greater purpose. It will not only be a powerful icon in Knox College’s new science building, but be incorporated in their curriculum in innovative ways and continue to be a source of inspiration for students for years to come.