From Marie Grosholtz to Marie Tussauds

In 1795, Marie Grosholtz married François Tussauds (a civil engineer in London) and they had 3 children. Thereafter, Marie Tussauds opened her first permanent exhibition in 1835, at Baker Street, London. I bet Sherlock Holmes was her fan as well. Not to mention, it takes about 150 measurements, for an artist to create a good resemblance to the person they are creating.

When Marie Grosholtz witnessed The Reign of Terror

Marie was arrested and employed during the reign of terror, to dig through the revolution’s mass graves. An event organised to find heads of people, and make death masks for those that might be of interest. All things considered, it wasn’t a pleasant experience for Marie, however it saved her life. Nonetheless, she created a self wax portrait in 1842, which is on display at the entrance of the wax museum. Some of her sculptors still survive, and are on display. The picture in the centre is that of Marie Tussauds herself! 

In 1940, Madam Tussauds of London was hit by German bombs and it destroyed nearly 350 head moulds. On the opening day of Berlin in 2008, a German man ripped Hitler’s head off quoting,”It disturbs me that Hitler should become a Tourist attraction”. On the positive side, the smallest wax figure created by Marie Tussauds, is that of Tinker Bell. 

The Marie Tussauds Legacy

Marie Tussauds died at the age of 88 on 16th April 1850. Nevertheless, the Madam Tussauds wax museum expanded world wide thereon. The wax figures are initially created 2% larger as wax is expected to shrink a bit. United States has 6, respectively in New York city, Washington D.C, Las Vegas, Los-Angeles and Orlando. Europe on the contrary, has them in 5 locations namely Blackpool, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna and Prague. Sydney has one, and Asia has around 7 in Singapore, HongKong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan. In addition, it’s believed that India is soon planning to host one soon in its national capital, Delhi.

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  • Article By :
    Dr. Nihar Gite is an Author, Writer, Professor and a Travel Blogger with over 35 years of experience. She is Former Principal of MKHS Gujarati Girls College, Author of 3 Textbook reference Books and Former Vice President at the Indian Rotary Club.

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2 thoughts on “From Marie Grosholtz to Marie Tussauds

  1. Very informative ! I never stopped to think about the Tussauds story and how it came into being. Now I know !

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