Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Houdini jumps into L.A. photo exhibition

A exhibition of select photographs from the Library of Congress is on show at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. Among the 500 images culled from the Library's 14 million is one of Houdini.

The Houdini photo is not shown on the official website, so I went and had a look today. The photo is the iconic shot of Houdini during his 1908 Harvard bridge jump (below). The original photo is a glass lantern slide from the McManus-Young collection. The exhibition credits it to John Thurston.

Unfortunately, what's on display is not the original photo, nor was it among the printed images hanging on the gallery walls. The Houdini photo cycles along with a dozen others on a video screen representing "Art" alongside "Sports" and "Leisure." Still, it was great to see Houdini representing the art of his era.

Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library can be see at Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067. The exhibition is free and runs until Sept. 9.



  1. Check my book, "Benjilini on Houdini" published back in 1994 and see my photos of the "Harvard bridge jump" with published permission from the "Museum of the City of NY." Also, at a past SAM convention, I stood at the exact place at the Boston Harvard bridge" whereas, Houdini made his leap. There is a plaque there too in honor of HOUDINI! Benjilini

    1. Hmmm...odd, I don't see those photos in your book. Mine is a "First Impression 1994". Maybe in a later edition?