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Seven whales

Identifier: Film Collection no. 272

Scope and Contents

This film shows the making of fiberglass models of seven different whales that were used in a temporary exhibit in the AMNH Hall of Ocean Life. The film was made in cooperation with the museum and won an award at the International Film and Television Festival. Wil Blanche directed and filmed Raymond H. de Lucia, AMNH preparator, creating the models. Both Blanche and de Lucia narrate the film. The picture opens with de Lucia entering the museum and meeting George S. Gardner, chairman of the Exhibition Department, where they discuss models and look at photographs of whales. This gives de Lucia an idea of what Gardner wants for the exhibition. Back in the studio, at his home, de Lucia begins work on the models. They are to be made on a scale of half an inch to the foot. The seven whale species constructed are the sperm, blue, right, pilot, humpback, killer and beluga. The film takes us through every stage in the building process. The sperm whale is sketched and the sketch is transferred to the board; the board is pegged to hold clay; plasticine is built up and then molded; latex and cheesecloth are then layered onto the finished model. Plaster of paris is laid over that to strengthen the rubber mold. Fiberglass resin is poured into the mold and finally the fiberglass model is removed and spray painted. Several models are seen in various stages of completion. The whale models were installed in a back-lit plexiglass exhibit in the Hall of Ocean Life. This was a temporary exhibit and is no longer at the museum.


  • 1978

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (25 minutes) : sound, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (25 minutes)) : sound, color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.



Ray de Lucia, producer and narrator; Wil Blanche, director, photographer, and narrator.

Seven whales, 1978
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420