President’s Day fun: Madame Tussauds presidential gallery opens in Washington DC

Back in December, we told you that Madame Tussuads’ Washington, D.C. location was going to be getting a significant upgrade – the first-ever President’s Gallery, an entire wing and exhibit dedicated to the 44 men who have served our country as Commander in Chief. Just in time for President’s Day, the gallery opened this past weekend, featuring 12 dedicated rooms and numerous interactive exhibits.

We thought you might enjoy this great photograph of the “arrival,” displaying all of the figures gathered at D.C.’s Union Station.

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Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. announces first “Presidential Gallery”

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.

Lady Gaga now a waxwork model at eight Madame Tussauds museums

Ah, Lady Gaga, what would we do without your telephone hats and nude suits?

Now the famous wax museum Madame Tussauds has unveiled Lady Gaga models at eight of their branches: London, New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood, Amsterdam, Berlin, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The figure at the London branch has the crazy suit shown here: a telephone hat designed by Philip Treacy and a midnight-blue Armani suit. Keeping up with Amsterdam’s debauched reputation, the museum there has a Lady gaga in a nude body suit, white jacket, and a rather phallic-looking purple hairdo. The other outfits are equally outrageous.

Hopefully her penchant for crazy clothes will continue, but not so much that she’ll have to be stripped by flight attendants like she was in March.

[Photo courtesy Madame Tussauds]

Madame Tussauds: Adolf Hitler to return to Berlin soon

Madame Tussauds, the world’s most overpriced, not to say overrated, tourist attraction, is bucking popular sentiment in Germany and elsewhere by vowing to return a wax statue of Adolf Hitler to its newest museum in Berlin as soon as possible.

I posted last week about a protester who managed to rip the head off the wax statue just minutes after Madame Tussauds officially opened to the public last Saturday.

The museum tells German media that it is working quick to reattach the head, after which it will return the statue to its place in the museum, a display that showed a replica of Hitler’s underground Berlin bunker during the final days of WWII.

“Despite the incident, Madame Tussauds will again show the wax figure of Adolf Hitler in the exhibition. Madame Tussauds is apolitical and neither comments on nor judges the people shown in the exhibition or what they did in the course of their life,” the museum tells the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

The Hitler statue has generated controversy since the museum announced its initial inclusion in the Berlin museum, alongside the likes of other German speaking notables like Boris Becker, Angela Merkel and Albert Einstein.

Not only is it in bad taste to immortalize the architect of millions of deaths in wax, protesters say, but the very location of the museum on Berlin’s posh Unter den Linden, near the Brandenburg Gate, means that the small Hitler exhibit is a stone’s throw from Berlin’s three-year-old Memorial to the Murder Jews of Europe, a massive sea of gray stone less than a two block walk away.

The Hitler display at Tussauds cost about $300,000. No word yet whether the museum is planning heightened security around it when it returns.

Originally the statue was to be positioned next to a wax likeness of Winston Churchill. However, the museum decided to isolate the Hitler statue in a different area of the museum, behind both a desk and a set of ropes to keep neo Nazis from posing for pictures next to it.

Madame Tussauds, the world’s most overrated and overpriced tourist attraction, now a little cheaper

If there is anyone out there in the Washington, D.C. area just dying to shell out money to see a bunch of wax statues, you may be heartened to learn that Madame Tussauds D.C. is lowering its admission price from $21.15 to $18, in response to the current “economic downturn.”

That’s right, Madame Tussauds, easily the silliest, most overrated and overpriced tourist attraction in the world, has just gotten a little more reasonable for folks in the Beltway. Now you can check out the “museum’s” exhibits of life-like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush statues, not to mention the requisite Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie offerings that I think are simply massed produced for the whole Tussauds chain. You might even encounter Joan Rivers, though in fairness she looks like wax anytime you see her.

Is there anyone out there who would actually spend $18 to see this stuff? Probably – there wouldn’t be a D.C. branch of the chain if there wasn’t some kind of demand.

I guess I shouldn’t harp too much on the price. I mean, Madame Tussauds D.C. is a positive steal compared to the flagship museum in London, which charges $50 for adult entrance.

Now, folks, I’ll give you $18. But if there is anyone out there spending $50 on this stuff, we need to have a talk…