King of Kings sculptor walks through the Waxy Gates
Artist Leone Chaney, 85, creator of the King of Kings wax exhibit, died on Jan. 29 at St. Petersburg, FL's Coquina Key Health and Rehabilitation Center. Chaney's wax depictions of the life of Christ opened at Sunken Gardens in 1968 after touring the country for several years. The King of Kings exhibit at Sunken Gardens was the first stop for any visitor before taking the swamp walk and the perusing the gift shop.
The most famous scene, immortalized on SG postcards, was the Last Supper, an impressive array of realistic figures in the familiar configuration. Across from the crucifixion scene, a Jesus ascended into a puffy arrangement of clouds.
In the mid-1990s, when Sunken Gardens fell upon hard times, the wax figures were sold to the Museum of Religious Arts in Logan, Iowa, where they can be viewed today.[03/29/2003]
Sunken Gardens Botanical Park
- 1825 4th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL
- Sunken Gardens Botanical Park. I-275 exit 24. East on 22nd Ave. for about 25 blocks to 4th St. Turn right onto 4th St. Sunken Gardens will be about blocks south, at 4th St. and 18th Ave.