Our Newest: The Presidents by Madame Tussauds at The Franklin Institute

by | Sep 3, 2020

We’re proud to have worked on a number of exhibits for The Franklin Institute over the years including perennial favorites “Electricity” and “SportsZone.” But out latest, created in partnership with design firm Alusiv, is unique for a couple of reasons. First, this famously-fun and timely exhibit called “The Presidents by Madame Tussauds” features incredibly realistic, life-size wax figures of every American president. You name them – Washington, Jefferson, Carter, Nixon, Trump – they’re all there. There is no other grouping like this in the world. But the fun doesn’t stop with just the 44 men who have served as President. The exhibit also includes a number of other influential figures including Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Macolm X, Michelle Obama and Benjamin Franklin – a natural choice. And somehow even Justin Beiber made the cut.

Second, Art Guild and Alusiv were challenged to make this exhibit a safe one for visitors. So, collaborating closely with The Franklin Institute, we took into account all the current COVID-19 safety protocols issued by the CDC, the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia to create a safe, socially-distanced environment. This is most visible in the spacing between all the different figures, allowing visitors to get close and safely snap photos with their favorite historical figures.

To bring all 56 figures in this exhibit vividly to life, each is placed in an iconic setting, mixing images and select props to tell the story of the highs and lows that defined each leader. The exhibit also explores how science and technology has shaped, and been shaped, by American culture and our leaders throughout history. Vistors also get a chance to see a wax figure of Madame Tussaud and learn a little something about the art of sculpting wax figures.

Our contributions to the exhibit included fabrication and installation of all figure mounts, scenic components, labels, graphic mural treatments and tension-fabric wall structures – as well as lighting design and implementation in collaboration with The Lighting Practice.

This is a temporary exhibit so you have until January 3, 2021 to see it. And since the museum is currently operating at only 25% capacity for safety reasons, you need to reserve you tickets for a set time slot. Bring a mask for anyone over 3 and be prepared for a touchless temperature check.