For a dozen years a life-size wax version of The Last Supper has languished in a Texas closet, the heads of Jesus and his disciples stored in boxes. Delays kept it there despite promises of its return in 2005 and 2007 and 2008.
Now it’s finally back, the centerpiece of Ft. Worth’s new Christian Arts Museum, which opened in August 2009.
We last saw this Last Supper some time before 1997, when its then-sponsoring group ran into money trouble and packed it away.
The Supper was built under the supervision of mother-daughter wax artists Katherine and Katherine Marie Stubergh. In 1955, Ft. Worth oil tycoon Bill Fleming saw an earlier Wax Supper that the Stuberghs had built — which is still on display in Santa Cruz, California — and paid them to build a duplicate as a “gift to all Christians.” He displayed it for years at a Ft. Worth shopping mall. According to Ed Malone of the Ft Worth Christian Arts Commission, the Stuberghs built four addition Wax Suppers — maybe for four other tycoons? — but these have all since disappeared.