the travel geek

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Madame Tussauds (Hollywood)

There’s plenty of books in publication on the life of Marie Tussaud. Two I’ve downloaded recently are: Madame Tussaud: A Life in Wax and Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution.

Tussaud was a woman way ahead of her time. Born December 1, 1761 in Strasbourg — it was by fate that she ended up working with wax. Her father was killed before she was born and to survive, her mother started working as a housekeeper for a Swiss physician: Dr. Philippe Curtius. It was Dr. Curtius who introduced Marie to wax modeling (as a hobby he began to do individual portraits and eventually hired Marie as an apprentice).

By the time she was 19, Marie showed so much talent that she was regularly invited to sculpt the faces of famous historical figures — both living and dead (her death masks from the French Revolution at Tussaud’s in London are very well known). The technique she perfected is still used today.

Below are some of the wax figures found at the Hollywood Tussaud Museum. You can pose with, touch, and caress the statues — as long as you don’t gouge their eyes out or take souvenirs.

Why would someone take the eyes from a statue, you ask?

I’m not sure, but Samuel Jackson’s eyes went missing the day before I visited the museum.

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