Friday, March 04, 2005

Great Blacks In Wax Museum

Booker T Washington
Booker T Washington, originally uploaded by mharrsch.
I am always a fan of wax museums and when I read about the "Great Blacks In Wax" Museum in Baltimore I had to include it in my schedule when I attended a conference there in October 2004. I found the visit very interesting since my knowledge of famous African-Americans was pretty much limited to George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King.

Although some of the older figures are basically costumed manniquins, the newer figures are quality wax sculptures equal to those I have seen at Madame Tussaud's in Las Vegas. I don't necessarily agree with the depiction of Hannibal as a black African (he was descended from a Phoenician noble family that colonized Carthage) or Imhotep as black (his image is depicted in ancient Egyptian murals as having a red complexion not the black of a Nubian). There were Nubian pharaohs that are documented in Egyptian history and I would have preferred an exhibit of them with a model of one of their distinctive silver sarcophagi. However, I found much of the information presented fascinating and well worth the visit. The museum also features a well stocked gift shop where I picked up a beautifully illustrated book about Addy, the black "American Girl" from Mattel's doll series, and some excellent videos about ancient civilizations.

See more images of the Great Blacks in Wax Museum
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