Monday, December 12, 2011

Tour Houdini Art and Magic with Joshua Jay (Part 1)

The Contemporary Jewish Museum has just posted this first in a series of "one-stop" video tours of Houdini: Art and Magic with renowned magician Joshua Jay.

In this first installent, Joshua shows us the writings of Houdini and talks about his career as an author. Something to watch out for here is the photo of Bessie on the wall behind Jay. This is the mystery photo I mentioned in my own report on the exhibition (and Ken Silverman lecture) that was not part of the exhibit when it was here in L.A., nor is it in the Houdini Art and Magic companion book.


  1. Nice. Thanks for the heads up on this.

  2. Since much of this video is about this, I will comment on why Houdini wrote this title. I have said this to others before concerning Houdini's book "The Unmasking..." Without question Houdini was very egotistical and most things always had to be about him. Houdini was certainly a very complex man. This book was only written because of when he went to visit Houdin's widow to pay homage to him, she spurned Houdini away. That's all it took. I feel without a doubt if she had received him that this book would have been one of a glowing account of his (Houdin's)life. In odd contrast, Houdini befriended Ira Davenport, who in truth was everything Houdini was against. The book title should have been "The Unmasking of the Davenports". But because Ira ingratiated Houdini, Houdini openly bragged of their friendship. It gets a little deeper of these psychobabble thoughts of mine on the ordeal, but I am only limited to a limited amount of space here.

  3. I absolutely agree with you, Arthur! The genesis of this book was in the snub from Houdin's widow. Had she treated Houdini better that day, this book would have never happened.

  4. I've also seen the anecdote refer to Robert-Houdin's daughter-in-law. I don't know when Robert-Houdin's second wife died, but Wikipedia indicates she was born around 1815. So she could have been alive and in her late 80s when Houdini first visited France.