Invited Speaker Abstracts

Roberta Ballestriero, Associate Lecturer UAL - Art Historian in residence Gordon Museum London.
From Flesh to Wax. The ‘ceroplastics body’ throughout history, science, religion and literature
Re-discovered in the 13th – 14th century in Florence with the cult of votive artefacts, the art of wax modelling or ceroplastics has an ancient origin. Objects that have existed since Antiquity, anatomical votive offerings, for example, were given originally to the pagan healing divinities and then to Christ, to the Virgin and the Saints. Its artistic peak was reached during the Renaissance when it was considered material par excellence for the representation of portraits, sketches and funeral masks. With the advent of Neoclassicism, which was sworn to sobriety and severity of expression, ceroplastics, now deemed artistically unpleasant, continued to survive in a scientific environment, where it flourished in the study of normal and pathological anatomy, obstetrics, zoology and botany. Wax slowly moved from churches and sanctuaries to the anatomical cabinets and museums of the Enlightenment. As a rich and complex medium, wax seems to lend itself, in a very natural way, to the reproduction of the human body. Extreme realism and a boldly lifelike appearance is afforded by the use of this material and it has achieved its best results in the depiction of human anatomy. This hyperrealism is most evident in moulages, a technique widely used as early as the Renaissance that consisted of making a plaster or clay cast of the object to be subsequently reproduced in wax. The uncanny response to the notion of the double, condemned by art historians, becomes a positive and intentionally sought-after feature in the case of scientific collections where the reproduction has to look exactly like the original. The art of ceroplastics was often not held in high esteem and the appreciation for this art was subject to fluctuation of taste as its extreme realism led it to fall into the “Uncanny Valley”. Where no tangible evidence remains, we have to rely on literature in order to understand the psychological response toward waxworks throughout centuries. With its incredible metamorphic characteristics wax moved through different domains of artistic creation, to be rediscovered in this century as a material of modernity. For its resemblance to human flesh, its hyperrealism, the results obtained transcend reality and often causes us an array of feelings: pleasure, perplexity, surprise, discomfort – wax models rarely leave us indifferent.

William Edwards Curator - Gordon Museum London - Senior Tutor Deputy Director EMDP.
The Gordon Museum; Wax models to Wi-Fi; “The UK’s exemplar of cutting edge Medical Education”
The Gordon Museum's primary function is to teach Medical professionals, ranging from undergraduate medical students to postgraduate surgeons, dentists, biomedical scientists, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics. All need a good grasp of Normal Anatomy and particularly a good grounding in all aspects of Pathology - the basis of all disease processes. Once embarking on a career in Medical education it quickly becomes apparent that teaching medicine is difficult, and the wise realise that there are no shortcuts. Learning, teaching and indeed practicing medicine is a mixture of rote and reasoned behaviour. As the great Sir William Osler said “The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head.” As the largest teaching medical Museum in the UK, it is essential that we utilise every possible resource available. At the moment we have a growing collection of approximately 8,000 pathological specimens on display. The oldest specimen dates from c1608 and the most recent was added in 2017, these specimens are fundamental in understanding Pathology and also give potential for further research and re-diagnosis using new staining techniques, DNA analysis and new imaging methods like CT/MRI scans. But we must augment the use of the specimens with technology as a supplement, so at present the Gordon Museum has a cluster of computers, a HD Digital data projection, HD LED screens, digital visualiser, projection microscope. This year we have added glasses-free 3D screen for better. Visualisation of normal and pathological anatomies. The Gordon Museum has an on-line resource at the Royal College of Pathology, 300 short films with commentaries relating to Gordon Museum specimens. An iPad device system is being developed. Equally as important is the use of older methods and techniques to foster the clear understanding of Normal Anatomy and Pathology and to promote greater empathy towards the patients. It is here that the superb Wax Models of Towne come to the fore, in the Museum we still value the interaction of students with the wax models as if they were real people. It is in the interest of us all to teach our Medical professionals, present and future, as well as possible. While new technology is very important, the resources available from the past cannot be surpassed and must be acknowledged and used.

Holly Trusted, Senior Curator of Sculpture, Victoria and Albert Museum London.
German Waxes in the Victoria and Albert Museum: Realism and Emotion
The Victoria and Albert Museum holds one of the most impressive collection of wax sculptures anywhere, numbering several hundred objects. These exquisite small-scale sculptures can be divided into two main categories: wax modelli and finished (often coloured) wax sculptures, sometimes portraits, sometimes genre scenes. The British waxes are especially numerous and impressive, but my talk will concentrate on the German waxes, which are equally arresting, and have not often been studied in any detail outside the German-speaking lands. I will be looking in particular at the work of the great German wax sculptor and priest Bernhard Caspar Hardy (1726-1819).

Claudia Corti, Curator of the Anatomical Wax Collection and Antique Instruments Vertebrate Zoology, Herpetology. Museum of Natural History, University of Florence, Zoology Section "La Specola"
The ceroplastics collections of “La Specola” Florence, Italy.
The Anatomical Wax Collection of the Museum "La Specola", at present the Zoological Section of the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence, was realised by the will of the Grand Duke Peter Leopold in the age of Enlightenment, by excellent wax modelers under the direction of illustrious anatomists such as Felice Fontana and Paolo Mascagni. The museum was opened to the public in 1775. In less than a century, more than 1400 anatomical wax models were produced for the Museum and arranged in nine exhibition rooms. The models were accompanied by drawings and relative explanations made by very capable illustrators and calligraphers. In addition to the numerous anatomical models, several others of comparative anatomy and pathological anatomy as well as botanical ones were realised at “La Specola”. For the preparation of the anatomical models, corpses or part of corpses originating from the hospital “Arcispedale di Santa Maria Nuova”, were dissected. For each anatomical piece a cast of plaster was made, but sometimes before that even one of clay; subsequently the wax, mixed with resins and pigments, was poured in the cast. The models were then finished with great care by skilled artists as e.g., Clemente Susini, Francesco Calenzuoli, Luigi Calamai and Egisto Tortori.

Christiane Druml, Director of the Josephinum - Medical Collections.
The Anatomical Wax Models of the Josephinum in Vienna
The “Josephinum” in Vienna has been founded 1784 by Emperor Joseph II as Academy of Medicine and Surgery to train military surgeons and thus revolutionized medicine in the 18th century. The building reflects its significance and serves now as gate to the historic collections of the Medical University of Vienna. It houses the world-famous anatomical wax models from Florence, as well as surgical instruments, valuable books, important estates and other documents in the field of the history of medicine. The Medical University of Vienna is one of the few medical institutions worldwide with such an eminent cultural heritage. The Josephinum with the permanent collection of anatomic and obstetric wax models as well as with temporary exhibitions is open to the public and can be visited. The Josephinum was an innovative institution, especially in regard to the various teaching aids used in the training of the students. The most important part of these teaching aids and still today of unique bearing are the anatomical and obstetric wax models which were ordered by Joseph II while visiting his brother the Grand Duke of Tuscany Peter Leopold in Florence. All models – 1192 single pieces - were carried across the Alps by a convoy of men and mules to Linz and then transported upstream via the Danube to Vienna. Art and science of wax modelling was not possible without dissection of cadavers. The idea behind the wax models was that once the whole body could be looked at and studied on a model, it would not be necessary anymore to perform dissections in order to learn the anatomy and further medical sciences. To know the human body was necessary for physicians, but also a prerequisite to artistic creation. Great artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo or Raphael are known to have studied anatomy. Wax was an easy material to work on and has been used since the ancient times.

Fausto Barbagli, ANMS President National Association Scientific Museums, Italy. Museum of Natural History, University of Florence, Zoology Section "La Specola"
Waxes and Enlightenment: the anatomy for the people
The use of wax modelling for scientific and didactic purposes grew in success and was widespread in the 18th century. One of the most famous examples is the Bolognese school of Ercole Lelli and the married couple Anna Morandi and Giovanni Manzolini. The purpose of these works, made on the basis of expert and refined dissections, was closely linked to the medical teaching and in particular applied to obstetrics and to the description of the sensory organs. The production of the Florentine School, born a few decades later, inspired by the Bolognese tradition, made the ceroplastics one of the most extraordinary protagonists of a far-sighted enlightenment project of popular acculturation initiated, in the last quarter of the century, by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo. During the reign of Pietro Leopoldo, Tuscany was an important centre of Enlightenment culture that allowed the spread of the economic, legal, social and scientific theories that characterised the period. The foundation of the Imperial and Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History, as well as its opening to the public of all social and cultural classes, fits into this context and the adjoining ceroplastics’ workshop demonstrates the desire to unveil to the public the continuum of nature so as to facilitate the self-learning of visitors. The exhibition's criterion is inspired by the encyclopaedism of which Tuscany was one of the European capitals in those years. Extraordinary master artists of wax modelling were entrusted with the task of making lasting three-dimensional images of ephemeral dissections and of perishable natural forms whose exposure to the public was necessary for understanding fundamental sciences such as anatomy and botany. This production, besides being today a wonderful testimony to the diffusion of scientific culture through the Museum institution, does well bring out the active role of the wax modellers in transfusing their own styles and those of the artists of the time, even in the production of works that had in their commission a purely documentary purpose.

Francesco M. Galassi, Assistant and Principal Investigator of "The Italian Paleopathology Project", Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Wax modelling at Bologna: an epic journey through morphology and pathology. Our modern understanding and practice of clinical medicine identifies its foundations in the morphological bases of anatomy and pathology. These two disciplines have a long history and have greatly advanced their scope and breadth through the work of pioneers. Before the introduction of photography, a pivotal role in the process of teaching, cataloguing and spreading of knowledge was guaranteed by wax modelling. Here the specific case of the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest University, is investigated. After the establishment of a marvellous ceroplastic laboratory within the context of anatomical dissections, the study and representation of human anatomy was soon matched by that of pathology. An artistic and medical survey of congenital conditions as well as chronic and dermatological disease shall be presented, with a particularly keen eye on the world’s oldest representation of acromegaly, the so-called Bottaro, in its intricacies and complex history, the very paradigm of how a virtuous blend of different multidisciplinary techniques and approaches, ranging from art history, archival studies to palaeopathology can offer us a clearer picture of the antiquity and evolution of pathological conditions still affecting mankind.

Francis Wells, Cardiothoracic surgeon at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.
Wax Anatomies: 3-D printing of the Enlightenment
“This, my illustration of the human body shall be demonstrated to you, not others than if you had a real man before you.” Leonardo da Vinci
The endless creativity of man both produces new technologies and then new interpretations of knowledge, new and old, through the eyes of these technologies. This cycle of inspirational change can be tracked vividly in the world of anatomical demonstration. As meaningful knowledge of anatomy emerged the dissemination of this knowledge became increasingly important. The first great books of anatomy are illustrated with woodcuts. This progresses through ever more beautiful copper plate engraving to its high point in the enlightenment. No matter the quality of these prints rendering exquisite representations of anatomical form and structure, three dimensional representation is lacking. The quote at the beginning of this abstract taken from the greatest artist anatomist Leonardo da Vinci underscores the desire to make anatomical representation as accurate as possible. Enter the representation of anatomical form in wax sculptures. These often exquisitely artistic forms became a key method of teaching. They allowed durable anatomical representation without the problems of smell and degeneration of body parts. They give perfect three dimensional representation. Scroll forwards to modern times and new technology has taken anatomical representation into new realms. Computer based visualisation has been followed by three dimensional printing. This has allowed anatomical demonstration to enter the realms of surgical therapy with the production of tumours in relation to the normal structures allowing advanced surgical planning in advance of the procedure itself. This presentation will explore these developments across time.

Valerie Kaufmann, Senior Conservator/Restorer at Plowden and Smith Ltd. London.
The Conservation/Restoration of Life size Wax Figures – more specifically some Wax Funeral Effigies at Westminster Abbey
The talk will illustrate some aspects of preserving life size wax effigies, a death mask and an anatomical figure. Wax funeral effigies and portrait memorial figures in Westminster Abbey, were made in the 17th and 18th centuries and have been on display in the Abbey Undercroft Museum since 1987. In anticipation of the figures being included in a new exhibition, ‘The Queen’s Jubilee Gallery’, in the triforium of the Abbey in 2018, eleven figures with wax features are in the process of being cleaned and restored. The investigations and condition reporting; the treatments needed to repair damage found; as well as on-going problems with surface bloom, will be discussed. The treatment and reinforcement of breaks and losses will be described including the adhesives and materials used to repair them, together with the reasoning behind the particular choices made. Specific cleaning concerns will also be reviewed together with proposals for further treatment. In addition to the Abbey effigies, models from other collections - a death mask of Charles Talbot, d. 1718, currently in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and a privately owned anatomical figure, will be used to illustrate disaster limitation.

Victoria Oakley, Head of Sculpture, Metals, Ceramics and Glass Section - Conservation Department Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Conservation of wax objects at the V&A
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) holds a small but significant number of wax objects scattered across its many collections. These range from dolls with wax heads and limbs (in the V&A’s Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green), to an important group of accurately modelled small low relief portraits and a very important collection of sketch models by various prominent artists (as part of the V&A’s Sculpture Department Collection). Responsibility for the care and conservation of these objects, which tends to be a highly specialist area, currently falls to a very small team of conservators based in the Ceramics Conservation Studio. Generally at the V&A, conservators’ work programmes are determined by the Museum’s current priorities which include a highly active Public Programme, concerned with the development of new galleries, exhibitions, displays and loans. The range of activities relating to the treatment of wax objects, includes essential basic preventive measures to ensure the stability of the objects, and occasionally more detailed treatments in order to prepare them for display in new galleries. This wasn’t always the case, particularly during the 1970’s when a considerable amount of interventive work was carried out on damaged and unstable wax objects in the collection. Aspects of these various approaches will be considered in context, alongside reflections on the more interventive work that happened in the past.

Laura Speranza, Director of Restoration Ceramic, Plastic and Glass Materials. Polychrome Wood Sculpture Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy.
Cellini, Giambologna, Zumbo and their works in ceroplastics. The long experience of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence between methodology and experimentation
The Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, was founded in 1588 by Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici, but only in the second half of the 19th Century it started the conservation and restoration of the monuments alongside the manufacture. After the dramatic experience of the 1966 flood and its emergency were created 12 restoration areas relating to all types of materials. In 1975, with the creation of the Ministero della Cultura, the Opificio has been officially recognized. The modern Opificio get together restoration and research alongside with the regular high school education (as the italian university) in the term of five years. The Opificio delle Pietre Dure is internationally recognized as one of the most important institutions in the field of conservation. The sector that deals with the restoration of ceramic materials, plastics and glass has been always engaged in the recovery of artifacts made of wax. Such as devotional objects, preparatory sketches made by Renaissance artists, botanical and anatomical teaching models still preserved in many famous university collections in Europe. The experience gained by our Institute in the conservation of the works in wax modelling has allowed us to refine the research and operation in this area by developing intervention techniques using increasingly sophisticated equipment and having the less invasive impact as possible. Over the years the Opificio has dealt with many issues related to the storage, handling and intervention techniques, always accompanied by scientific investigations to face in the best way the challenges encountered and comply the basic criteria of modern restoration. We will examine especially some case studies about artistic models in wax (Giambologna, Cellini, Zumbo and Medardo Rosso).

Chiara Gabbriellini, Freelance Restorer
Diagnostic, preservation and restoration of the main italian collections of anatomical, pathological and botanical waxes
The Italian university scientific collections have many wax artefacts, which had been used as teaching models for students until last century. The production of these models gave rise to the development of many manufacturers laboratories, which sold their crafts to many Italian and European universities. To deal with such objects which come in a peculiarly brittle structure, a constant updating of know-how is required which leads to a high degree of professionalism. Working on an large number of wax models (Anatomical, Pathological and Botanical coming from La Specola's Museum) has given us the opportunity to study and experiment with new materials and restoration techniques. Important innovative interventions for support structures creation have also laid the groundwork for a new method of consolidation for wax sculptures, giving rise to a more detailed study on the conservation of this kind of works, filed under the field of 'arti minori'.

Johanna Lang, Technical University Munich / Freelancing Conservator, Munich
The so-called Anatomical Wax Cabinet at the German Hygiene-Museum Dresden. Past and present of a rare ensemble seen from the conservator’s point of view
The German Hygiene-Museum Dresden houses the so-called Anatomical Wax-Cabinet which centres on roughly 200 ceroplastic models and moulages. Arranged in glass casings, these waxworks illustrate the embryonic development, scenes of childbirth and surgery as well as healthy and pathologic human bodies or parts of them. Besides, there are representations of a more sensational appeal, such as the “Sword-swallower” and “A girl struck by lightning”. From its foundation around 1850 until recently, this collection was in the possession of travelling showmen, who presented it on fairgrounds all-over Europe as a means of health education but also for entertainment. Frequent transport and handling thereby dominated its past as did unfavourable surrounding conditions and constant repairs. In 2009, the Anatomical Wax-Cabinet was acquired by the Dresden museum where it now stands for the first time in the focus of research and conservation. The examination firstly comprises the compilation and interpretation of written records, historic photographs and oral testimonies connected with the collection. Besides, each waxwork is inspected in detail by naked eye and stereo-microscope. Selected pieces are even examined more closely using X-ray, FTIR and gas-chromatography. The information gained through this investigation helps to understand the collection’s origin and passage over time as well as the techniques and materials used for manufacturing the waxworks. Based hereupon, a concept for conservation is developed and implied that aims at a most sustainable, integral and sensible preservation. Treatment procedures thus have to be adjusted to the specific ageing and damage phenomena of each ceroplastic on the one hand. Meanwhile, the ensemble character of the inventory needs to be respected and safeguarded as do the manifold traces of its agitated past that are so very characteristic for the 1900s travelling anatomical museums, of whom only very few have survived until today.

Martina Peters, Josephinum – Collections of the Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
The whole-body upright models at the Josephinum – new challenges in their conservation. Uniting art, science, and exquisite handcraft, the anatomical wax model collection at Vienna’s Josephinum is an ensemble of nearly one thousand pieces created in and around 1785 at the personal request of Emperor Joseph II, for the then-groundbreaking medico-surgical military academy to be named after him. These models, still displayed in their original rosewood veneered and mouth-blown glass cases, serve as testimony to 18th century advances in the understanding of human anatomy and didactic methods. While the majority of the collection depicts dissected body parts, 16 stunningly-posed, whole-body models depict the human body in its entirety. Considering their age, the objects’ condition can be classed as good. Nevertheless, inevitable damage and degradation due to ageing, environmental conditions, and the handling of and/or interaction with the materials are evident. The whole-body upright models are especially vulnerable due to their size and structure. In order to define a concept for their conservation and restoration, one whole-body model depicting the second muscle layer of a male body has been examined in greater detail. Damage assessment as well as scientific analysis, such as x-ray and gas chromatography mass spectrometry, has been carried out. Challenges have arisen due to deformation of existing breakages and cracks in the models, while further questions over the impact of subtle architectonic vibrations require further investigation. In addition, the model requires cleaning, partial removal of degraded varnish, and consolidation.

Ruth Richardson, Independent Historian.
Jewels in the Crown at the Gordon Museum: Joseph Towne's Extraordinary Anatomical Waxes
Joseph Towne was recognised in his own lifetime as a uniquely important sculptor and modeller in wax. His entire working life was devoted to the creation of the astonishing collection of anatomical and pathological waxes for Guy's Hospital Medical School, now housed in the Gordon Museum, and part of King's College London. This talk outlines his life and discusses his extraordinary work in the context of the history of the Museum's anatomical, pathological and pedagogical endeavour.

Konrad Schlegel, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer, Schatzkammer
Julius von Schlosser and the collection of wax objects in the Kunstkammer of Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Julius von Schlosser (Vienna 1866 - 1938 Vienna) certainly was one of the most important art historians in first half of 20th century. Until present times his study Geschichte der Porträtbildnerei in Wachs. Ein Versuch, first published in the Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, 29, 1910/1911, p. 171-258, influences art historical preoccupation with and research on wax as artistic material. Anyone dealing with this issue is faced with Schlosser’s ideas. The enormous impact of this survey has been proven by the fact that a German reprint was published in 1993 (Tote Blicke. Geschichte der Porträtbildnerei in Wachs. Ein Versuch, ed. by T. Medicus, Berlin 1993) and only recently an English and even two Italian translations appeared (History of Portraiture in Wax, in: R. Panzanelli, Ephemeral Bodies: Wax Sculpture and the Human Figure, Los Angeles 2008, p. 171-314; Storia dell ritratto in cera, a cura di P. Conte, Macerata 2011; Storia dell ritratto in cera: un saggio, a cura di A. Daninos, Milano 2011). Not to forget the French edition from 1997 (Histoire du portrait en cire, préf. de T. Medicus, Paris 1997). Schlosser wrote his essay as director of the Sammlung für Waffen und kunstindustrielle Gegenstände in the Kunsthistorisches Hofmuseum in Vienna (later Sammlungen für Plastik und Kunstgewerbe, today the Kunstkammer at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien). This collection likely aroused his interest in the subject. The few but attractive wax sculptures here inspired him. Which connection exists between the sculptures in this collection and Schlosser’s article? What did he find when he entered the collection as curator at the beginning of his career in 1896? How did he enlarge “his” collection with wax objects during his era as director (1901-1922)? Approach on an important chapter of history of science.

Stephen Mansfield, Principal Sculptor Madame Tussauds/Merlin Magic Making
My intention is to discuss the on-going challenges we face as artists and crafts-people producing wax figures for the Madame Tussauds attractions, against the ever increasing demands of the business and competition of other existing and emerging high-tech entertainments. I would cover many of processes we use in making the figures, as well as the way they are ultimately presented and seen by the public, in this digital age. Also how we endeavour to combine the old with the new: the retention of traditional skills, but skills now used along side cutting-edge technology. And how an art-form and craft from a bygone age is still successful, relevant and profitable in a highly competitive market.

Pascale Pollier, Medical Artist, AEIMS President (European Medical Artists Association)
The Body in Pieces
The casting of body parts for the sole purpose of making an artwork is understandably frowned upon as ethically wrong and taboo. If seen in another light, however, I believe the human cadaver can become a study-object for the artist, and when treated properly, with due respect for the deceased, the ethical integrity can remain intact. My personal quest as an artist took me from scientific wonder, through anatomical research in dissection and autopsy rooms and labs and operating theatres, on to functional medical illustration and back to conceptual art. With this talk I will try to document the process that I went through in my work, from casting organs, such as the heart and the brain, through to the finished sculptures that I made. The casts of these organs are very much the starting point of my work and they are the reference material from which I draw my inspiration. I know of no other artistic experience that comes anywhere close to the intense emotion one feels in holding someone’s heart or brain in one’s hands, with the understanding that they were once imbued with the vital spark of life. It is a humbling privilege indeed to witness the beauty of these visceral structures, textures and colours in all their splendour. I will illustrate my odyssey through the body with examples of my work and examples of the specimens I used. I will also explain the process involved in life casting and casting organic materials.

Eleanor Crook, Sculptor and Artist in Residence at the Gordon Museum of Pathology, Guy’s Hospital, London, lecturer in Artistic Anatomy and Sculpture, Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University and University of the Arts London.
The Immortality of Wax, a Volatile Medium
This presentation will focus on the effectiveness of wax as an atmospheric and disturbing material of aesthetic expression, the deep-seated subconscious fears and desires it can be made to evoke in an audience beyond its obvious mimetic utility as an anatomical teaching tool. In the context of medical 3d illustration or pure replicative portrayal wax is an obedient medium which with skill can be made to represent any texture or tissue; but its very persuasiveness can be, and has been in various historical periods, harnessed and subverted to raise doubts in the mind about the border between animate and inanimate, the beautiful and the repulsive, perfection and decay, the visible and the evanescent, the present and the imagined. It can be used to conjure a living human presence, to substitute a dummy of the famous, to restore the unbearably spoiled features of a beloved displayed in the casket, to offer an effigy for respect or vituperation, to reveal an aspect of life beyond mere appearance. Its tactile and visual kinship with the living have made it a special, often suspect and undervalued artistic medium. With reference to wax modelers Medardo Rosso, Roderick Tye, Edgar Degas; to the wax modeling behind lost wax technique for bronze; to anonymous dolls mannequins and effigies as well as the speaker’s own experience in sculpture, the presentation will cover the less didactic, more expressive and emotive applications of wax manipulation and its continuing appeal.