Illusion, Enchantment and Wonder
The world’s greatest magicians from the Middle Ages through the 1950s
Magic has enchanted humankind for millennia, evoking terror, laughter, shock, and amazement. Once persecuted as heretics and sorcerers, magicians have always been conduits to a parallel universe of limitless possibility—whether invoking spirits, reading minds, or inverting the laws of nature by sleight of hand. Long before science fiction, virtual realities, video games and the internet, the craft of magic was the most powerful fantasy world man had ever known. As the pioneers of special effects throughout history, magicians have never ceased to mystify us by making the impossible possible.
Magic, 1400s-1950s celebrates more than 500 years of the dazzling visual culture of the world's greatest magicians. Featuring more than 1,000 rarely seen vintage posters, photographs, handbills, and engravings as well as paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and Caravaggio among others, this 650-page volume traces the history of magic as a performing art from the 1400s to the 1950s. Combining sensational images with incisive text, Magic explores the evolution of the magician’s craft, from medieval street performers to the brilliant stage magicians who gave rise to cinematic special effects; from the 19th century's Golden Age of Magic to groundbreaking daredevils like Houdini and the early 20th century's vaudevillians.
This image reminded me how much I love Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. One of my favorite San Francisco novels & definitely my favorite novel that deals with Magic. (To be fair it's th only one).
Magic, 1400s-1950s is also the perfect companion to last year's The Circus: 1870-1950, also edited by Noel Daniel.