Stateside 2: A Wax Job

Be immersed at Madame Tussauds San Francisco, experiencing Hollywood icons, rock royalty, and world leaders, to name but a few.  Museum pamphlet blurb

Madame Tussaud in action

The French waxing tradition lives on

By Roger Childs

Fisherman’s Wharf has many attractions and one of the best is the wax museum.

The lady who set the standards in making wax figures and death masks lived for an amazing 89 years across the 18th and 19th centuries.

Furthermore, Madame Tussaud passed through the French revolutionary period unscathed.

Today her heritage is remembered in the very impressive American exhibition in San Francisco.

Up close and personal

Legendary crooner and entertainer, Tony Bennett, greets visitors at the start of the multi-faceted displays.

His superb likeness sets the tone for all the people, mainly American, who follow.

An appealing feature of the exhibition is that you can get up close and drape yourself around the life size figures for photo opportunities to impress the folks back home.

What’s more you can

~ join banjo plucking Al Capone in his Alcatraz cell

~ sit in the president’s White House oval office chair

~ sink a 25 foot put while Tiger Woods looks on

~ shake hands with whoever.

Painstaking work

There is plenty of fascinating information provided on how Madame Tussaud crafted her wonderful renditions of people of the time, and the San Francisco exhibition pays tributes to the lady herself with a stunning likeness.

A huge effort goes into making each life size figure:

  • 800 hours of labour on average
  • more than 100 photos are taken of people who are still living
  • Over 200 measurements are made
  • every hair follicle is individually attached.

Meeting the rich and famous

Edging past Tony Bennett, you first meet legendary San Francisco gay politician, Harvey Milk, sitting on top of a chevy. Then there is an impressive display of key musicians from the 1967 Summer of Love including Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia and Carlos Santana.

Key figures from American history naturally have their place: Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Steve Jobs, and a clutch of presidents from George Washington and Abe Lincoln to Barack Obama. (Mercifully no Donald Trump!)

Sport is well represented with Tiger, Jackie Chan, Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Billy Jean King and Babe Ruth.

Not surprisingly the film industry icons feature: Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, Marilyn Munro and Robin Williams, to name but a few. Everyone is “located” in an appropriate setting.

Then there are entertainers such as Beyonce, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Swift and Elvis.

But wait, there’s more ….





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