Saturday, June 28, 2008

Movieland Wax Museum- Lady of the Tropics

Here we see the tableau from the 1939 motion picture Lady of the Tropics. Wax figures of stars Robert Taylor and Hedy Lamarr pose in this small and simple scene. The lighting on each of the the figure's faces makes them look distorted and sort of nonhuman.

A flash picture of the same shot. Now we see all the set pieces and scenery.

A wider shot highlights the entire tableau.

A close up of Taylor and Lamarr. In 1933, Hedy Lamarr caused quite a stir when she posed topless in the Czechoslovakian film Ecstasy.

The clap board sign which gives information on the film and actors.

At the 2006 Movieland auction, the Hedy Lamarr figure sold for $1200, and the Robert Taylor figure sold for $300. The set sold for $1500.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum- Oyster Bill's

The last preview figures before entering the Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum is this small scene of Oyster Bill's Room and Board. A man, who appears passed out reading Tortilla Flat is about to be doused with a pale of dirty water. I couldn't find any information on Oyster Bill's, it may be in a Steinbeck book, but it eludes me.

A close up of the Gentleman. He has no idea how soon his slumber will be disrupted. Actually, the two people are stuck in this moment of time for as long as the display is around.

Visit Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum's website here.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage- Persecution of the Church

A scene from the defunct (too many of those) National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage shows the religious persecution that many Christian denominations faced in Europe. Here we see a jailed couple being harassed by some kind of monk. The scene is quite effective with its small jail window being the portal through which the guest views the scene, adding to the claustrophobic element of the experience.

The angry Priest attempting to force the couple to convert from their particular belief system.

The man holding the frightened woman.

The bucket, which holds significance as an artifact being sold at the Lancaster auction.

The earliest settlers in our region were Mennonites, French Hugenots, Scotch-Irish, Presbyterians, English Quakers, and Welsh Episcopalians. They Migrated to America to escape persecution by the powerful Church Police in their native countries. They found the religious freedom they were seeking in "Penn- Sylvania", or "Penn's Woods".

These photos are from the auction held after the museum closed. While some tableaux were sold complete, the figures in this scene sold individually. The Priest sold for$175, the couple for $210, and the bucket for $50. The figures were made by the legendary Dorfman Museum Figures. They keep all their molds, so one could potentially recreate this scene with relative ease, assuming they had the money to buy the figures.

All photos are from Jennings Auction Group.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Christus Gardens- The Nativity

I thought I would do a little "Christmas in June" post today. This picture is from the recently defunct Christus Gardens museum in Gatlinburg Tennessee. The highlight of the museum was the dioramas featuring the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. One of only a handful of religious wax museums, Christus Gardens seemed to have been the most popular. It opened in 1960, and was a staple of the city for the next forty-eight years. This scene focuses on the birth of Christ, and is very typical of most Nativity scenes.

Three wise men? No, one wise man and two Shepherds.

More shepherds. They kneel before the baby Jesus in his manger.

Mary and Joseph watch over the newborn King.

Christus Gardens closed on January 13th 2008.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Madame Tussauds- Whoopi Goldberg

Standing outside of the Madame Tussaud's wax museum in Las Vegas is screen actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg. Without having to pay for admission, visitors to the Venetian Hotel can have their picture taken with this wax figure. Hopefully this will draw people into the museum where even more celebrities await.

A close up of the figure shows off the nice detailing in the face. It really looks like Whoopi Goldberg.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's website here.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

National Historical Wax Museum- The Prohibition Era

"The tableau shows a Chicago gangster killing typical of the Capone era. One gang member is shown being ambushed by the paid killer of a rival 'Mob'."

This shot of the killer shows the fierce savagery of the gangster era. Not any particular gangster, this man kills the other mobster as a message to another gang. His expression says it all, and the way his facial features highlight his rage, it's a good thing the prohibition era is long over.

Though not an innocent character, this man looks as if he is. In reality, he was probably some lackey who was expendable to his mob. Not that his death here won't garner another endless string of retaliation after retaliation.

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