Monday, September 7, 2015

Sketching Houdini

I love first-hand accounts of meeting Houdini at his home in New York, and this one from newspaper sketch artist "Gonzalez" is a real hoot as Houdini appears to have been especially playful on this day. I'm always struck by how visitors to 278 all comment on how dark it was inside, and how they all climb a narrow stairway to meet Houdini in his cubbyhole office. This comes from the September 4, 1924 Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Click to enlarge.

I love Gonzalez's observation that Houdini is "all upper lip, the bottom doesn't show." And while this is a light article, one can't help but be reminded of another appointment Houdini made to do a sketch with McGill student Sam Smilovitz in Montreal, and all that came of that fateful day.

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1 comment:

  1. So HH must have performed various effects for Gonzalez. I'm familiar with the dollar bill breaking the pencil. It's in Will Dexter's book for beginners and I'm sure many others. If you were visiting HH in 278, chances were that you were going upstairs to his office. Where else would he be?

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