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Kamala Harris to be first vice president with wax figure at Madame Tussauds

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Written by Eoin McSweeney, CNN

Kamala Harris will soon be making more history when she becomes the first United States vice president to have a figure on display at the Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York City.
The attraction in Times Square released photos Wednesday of the work done so far on busts of Vice President Kamala Harris and US President Joe Biden in honor of their 100th day in office.

A team of sculpture artists in London are creating the clay heads with the help of hundreds of photos of the leaders. It took designers six weeks to make the busts and the entire figures won’t be ready for four to six months, according to a press release.

It is tradition for the New York exhibition rooms, which opened in 2000, to display models of US presidents, but Harris will be the first vice president to feature.
Harris further made history this week by sitting next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday as they became the first women to lead the Senate and House during the president’s address to a joint session of Congress.
Sculptor Vicky Grant works on the clay bust of Vice President Kamala Harris in London.

Sculptor Vicky Grant works on the clay bust of Vice President Kamala Harris in London. Credit: Merlin Entertainments

“It’s a huge honor to be sculpting Kamala Harris and to get to this stage has been quite a journey,” said Vicky Grant, one of the sculptors, in a video shared with media.

“I feel like the most important features of Kamala Harris to get right are not only her lovely, warm and welcoming smile but also her eyes because I feel like she’s so engaging when she smiles, she actually smiles with her eyes as well.”

Christopher John Rogers, the designer who made Harris’ coat and dress for her inauguration, created the outfit her statue will wear once installed in the museum.

The winner of the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, Rogers is one of the most buzzed-about young Black designers working today, having dressed former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Rihanna.

Harris’ look will be completed with gold and pearl jewelery.

Sculptor David Burks works on the clay bust of President Joe Biden in London.

Sculptor David Burks works on the clay bust of President Joe Biden in London. Credit: Merlin Entertainments

Biden’s model will be wearing a midnight blue suit by Ralph Lauren, the Bronx-born son of Jewish immigrants who has been the standard-bearer for luxury Americana for more than 40 years. It will replicate the outfit he wore at the 46th presidential inauguration ceremony, which included a lavender tie and white dress shirt.

The artists will also create navy and gold cufflinks engraved with “US Senator” and a lapel pin in the shape of a US flag, said the press release.

“This will be my third president I’ve sculpted for Madame Tussauds,” said the principal sculptor, David Burks, in a video. “Previously I did James Garfield and Ulysses Grant so to add President Joe Biden to the collection is a big honor.”

Madame Tussauds will set up the statues later this year in its “Oval Office” exhibition. When the museum reopened in August with Covid-19 restrictions, the wax figure of former President Donald Trump greeted guests at the entrance wearing a mask.
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