Whales: Giants of the Deep exhibition centre stage in New York

22 March 2013

Te Papa’s Whales exhibition is about to open at one of the world’s most prestigious venues, the American Museum of Natural History, in New York.

The exhibition has been touring the world since 2008 and has already been seen by more than a million people in North America. The American Museum of Natural History gets about five million visitors each year.

Te Papa’s Chief Executive Michael Houlihan says there’s tremendous excitement about the public opening of Whales: Giants of the Deep.

“It’s the first touring show at the AmericanMuseum of Natural History Museum in more than ten years and is recognition of the significance of the exhibition on the world stage.”

“This fascinating exhibition is a perfect fit for the AmericanMuseum of Natural History,” said John Flynn, Frick Curator of Fossil Mammals, who is overseeing the exhibition at the Museum. “Whales provide an ideal opportunity to explore an array of important topics that align with our commitment to engaging with and educating the public, including evolution, biology, species diversity, and conservation, and the rich variety of cultures around the world.”

Te Papa houses one of the largest whale collections in the world and the touring exhibition features more than 20 skulls and skeletons from various whale species. It includes many rare specimens, including the real skeleton of a male sperm whale nearly 58 feet long – about 18 feet longer than a bus school.

The exhibition in New York also includes rarely-viewed items from the AmericanMuseum of Natural History’s world-class collection of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts, such as the massive fossil skull ofAndrewsarchus, a 45 million year old land-dwelling relative of whales.

The exhibition opens to the public Saturday 23 March and runs until 5 January 2014.

Te Papa acknowledges the support of the New Zealand Government and the Smithsonian Institute in bringing this exhibition to the world.

Whales: Giants of the Deep is developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Media contact

Heather Church
029 601 0180

Roberto Lebron, Senior Director of Communications, AMNH
(917) 841 – 5244