|Marie Tussaud: Madame Tussauds|
Soon, Dr. Curtius’ wax figures had become famous, and he moved to Paris to open a Cabinet de Cire (a wax museum). Marie and her mother moved with the doctor. The exhibition opened in 1770---drawing huge crowds of spectators. Some of the figures from that exhibition still survive and are on display at the London location of Madame Tussaud’s Museum. In 1776, Curtius’ exhibition was moved the Palais Royale, and, in 1782, Curtius opened a second, more shocking location which would be the first version of “The Chamber of Horrors.”
|Some of the original figures: Madame Tussauds|
Because of her association with the King, Marie was arrested during the Revolution. Her head was shaved and she was slated to go to the guillotine. At the last moment, her life was spared due to her association with Dr. Curtius. She was then employed to make death masks from the heads of those who lost their lives at the guillotine. Marie would search through piles of decapitated heads to find the best examples.
|The Self Portrait: Madame Tussauds|
Her legend lives on, however. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museums are still worldwide attractions with locations in Amsterdam, Hong Kong), Las Vegas, Shanghai, Berlin, Washington D.C., New York City, and Hollywood. Today, the museums utilize the latest technology in addition to Marie Tussaud’s method of wax sculpting to create incredibly life-like figures. The museums also offer state-of-the-art attractions ranging from holograms to robotics. Though now owned by Merlin Entertainment, Madame Tussaud’s museums operate under the same spirit as did “The Baker Street Bazaar,” only, now, they are able to entertain and educate millions more people.