Ever wanted to shake hands with Bill Clinton or stand toe to toe with Richard Nixon? Soon you can … if you visit Madame Tussauds‘ Washington D.C. location. Early next year, the museum will launch the first U.S. President’s Gallery, featuring all 44 U.S. Presidents.
The $2 million+ gallery will open on February 17th, just in time for (you guessed it) President’s Day. The museum is creating 28 entirely new figures just for the exhibit.
“We are looking forward to providing the public with the unique opportunity to experience all of the U.S. presidents in a way unlike ever before,” said Dan Rogoski, General Manager of Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. “As the only place in the world where people will be able to meet and interact with all 44 U.S. presidents, history buffs, students and the general public alike will enjoy a truly unique and enriching educational experience at the Gallery.”
In anticipation of the opening of the Presidents Gallery, figures of presidents have been popping up across the country. Throughout the year, figure sightings have included President Gerald Ford at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum for the 97th anniversary of his birthday; founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia over the July 4th holiday; and most recently, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, which took a road trip to Mount Rushmore in honor of the 69th anniversary of the monument’s completion.
A tremendous undertaking, each figure takes about three to four months to complete and requires an extensive amount of work. In order to make the figures as lifelike as possible, Madame Tussauds artists have to study hundreds of photographs, and when available, hours of video footage. Of course in some cases, the artists did not have the luxury of photographs or videos, and needed to rely on historical accounts, even paintings.
The U.S. Presidents Gallery will include a curriculum focused on the history of the U.S. presidents. We can see it now – this will be a must-hit stop on the annual “eighth grade trip to D.C.” itinerary.