The sharks are here! On April 20, our newest exhibition opened at the Bruce Museum: Sharks!
The construction of any exhibit at the Bruce is the work of many hours and many people, but Sharks! presented a few additional challenges… like how do you get a massive great white model into the museum?
First, you have to unload the great white. The shark arrived at the museum on the back of a truck. We can only imagine how it might have felt to see a shark beside you when driving down the highway. Fortunately, our shark didn’t cause any accidents on her way to work.
After posing for a few photos, we unstrapped her and got her into our loading dock.
She arrived a few months ahead of schedule and couldn’t stay in the loading dock for long. We don’t have a spare fish tank quite large enough to fit her, so where could our great white rest until it was her time in the spotlight? The paint shop, apparently! We are a museum of art and science, and we hope she was able to pick up a few art techniques while she was there.
Before we knew it, it was time to start constructing the exhibit. Ordinarily we would move objects from the basement to the first floor by the elevator. Giant great white sharks don’t fit in an elevator, so we had to improvise. We took her back out the loading dock, up the stairs, and through the front door.
How many museum staffers does this take? Four to hold the shark, two to document it, and another two to open doors and watch for collisions.
Inside the museum, the great white took her place at the start of the upcoming exhibition. At first, she lurked in the shadows alone, surrounded by ladders and other construction equipment.
But soon, our underwater scene came to life. She was joined by two more sharks, warily keeping their distance. Behind her, a REMUS 100 vehicle follows, a device used to film sharks in the wild. Visible through portholes in the wall, it’s easy to forget that you’re at a museum and not a research base beneath the waves.
Want to come face to snout with our shark yourself? Dive into Sharks! from now until September 1.
-Kate Dzikiewicz, Science Curatorial Associate and Seaside Center Manager