Friday, October 8, 2010

The Jewish Museum announces two special Houdini programs in November

Press Release
New York, NY - In conjunction with its new exhibition, Houdini: Art and Magic, The Jewish Museum is presenting two related programs. Conjuring Houdini in the Popular Imagination, a panel discussion featuring magicians George Schindler and Dorothy Dietrich and Houdini biographer Kenneth Silverman will take place on November 11. A conversation with distinguished author E. L. Doctorow and historian Alan Brinkley on Doctorow’s interpretations of Harry Houdini will be offered on November 18.


Thursday, November 11
6:30 pm
Panel Discussion
The Saul and Harriet M. Rothkopf Media Program
More than 80 years after his death, escape artist extraordinaire Harry Houdini continues to fascinate and inspire.  “Dean of American Magicians” George Schindler and "The First Lady of Magic" Dorothy Dietrich join Houdini biographer Kenneth Silverman to discuss why the legendary magician occupies such a prominent place in American popular culture. The evening will include archival footage of classic Houdini escapes and a special live recreation of his signature straitjacket escape.

George Schindler is a member of the Society of American Magicians’ Hall of Fame, starred as "Chandu the Great" in Woody Allen's New York Stories (1989), and is the author of several books.  Dorothy Dietrich has been called “the female Houdini” and is one of the first women to achieve fame as a magician. Kenneth Silverman’s books include Houdini!!!; Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage, A Cultural History of the American Revolution; The Life and Times of Cotton Mather (winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Biography); Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance; and Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F. B. Morse.

Tickets: $15 general public; $12 students/over 65; $10 Jewish Museum members.

Thursday, November 18
6:30 pm
The Salo W. Baron Lecture
Distinguished author E.L. Doctorow discusses his interpretations of Harry Houdini in his National Book Critics Circle Award winning novel, Ragtime, with noted historian Alan Brinkley.

E.L. Doctorow’s novels include The Book of Daniel, a National Book Award nominee in 1972; World’s Fair, winner of the 1986 National Book Award; Billy Bathgate, winner of the PEN/Faulkner prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the William Dean Howells medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1990; and The March, which received the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.  He holds the Lewis and Loretta Glucksman Chair in English and American Letters at New York University. Alan Brinkley is the Allan Nevins Professor of History and former Provost at Columbia University. He is the author of Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, which won the 1983 National Book Award; The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War; Liberalism and its Discontents; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century.

Tickets: $15 general public; $12 students/over 65; $10 Jewish Museum members.

For further information regarding programs at The Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3337.  Tickets for lectures, film screenings and concerts at The Jewish Museum can now be purchased online at the Museum’s Web site,

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