Thursday, September 13, 2018

Final days to see 'Summer of Magic' at New-York Historical Society

The New-York Historical Society's exhibition Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection is coming to a close this Sunday, September 16. The exhibition features rare artifacts from the Golden Age of Magic, including Houdini's Milk Can, Metamorphosis trunk, straitjacket, Bess's stage coat, and the Mirror Handcuffs (first time the cuffs have been displayed publicly in 20 years). If you haven't seen it, now's your last chance!

This final weekened will also feature a reappearance of Houdini himself a.k.a. Duffy Hudson. Below are details.

Meet Summer of Magic’s Closing Act: Harry Houdini!
FEATURING: Duffy Hudson
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 | 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 | 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Free with Museum Admission
Don’t miss the final weekend of our Summer of Magic, and your last chance to shake hands with Harry Houdini—that is, if his arms aren’t stuck in a straitjacket or handcuffs! Marvel as Houdini, portrayed by Duffy Hudson, shares his incredible life story, performs illusions with playing cards, and manages to swallow—gulp—sharp needles! Click for more info.

Visit The New-York Historical Society's website for location and hours.



  1. Just returned from a farewell visit as I had to see the marvelous collection lent by David Copperfield one last time. I tried to time it so there would be fewer people there than my previous visits, and happily that was the case, so I was able to really zero in on individual items in the exhibition. One thing I'd never noticed before was that Houdini's milk can, though appearing round from the top, actually appears somewhat elongated when viewed from the "side," while again appearing round from the "front" (and from that angle seeming almost too tight to fit even Houdini's 5'5 frame). Fascinating! So grateful this exhibition was here but very sad to see it go.

    1. How I wish I could give it one last good look. I was so crazed that night I barely had a chance to really see it.

      Interesting observation about the Milk Can. You sure the glass enclosure wasn't playing trick with your eye? I'm going to remember this and have a good look next time I see this can.

    2. I considered that, John, but the other items in the display didn't appear distorted in that way. Possible though, I suppose, and you're right, it doesn't seem logical. I'll have to take a closer look at my pictures. When I saw the milk can in the Niagara Falls museum, it was sort of tucked in a corner so one couldn't get a 360 degree look at it, so I don't have a point of reference.

    3. I too just returned from my trip to NY to take in the Copperfield exhibit on Saturday, 9/15. I was able to enjoy the added bonus of Houdini Duffy! It was fascinating to watch what it may have been like to see Harry perform up close back in the day, with a great, uplifting message to all in attendance. I was able to view the Copperfield exhibit alone, similar to being alone in some rooms in 278, which was an added, contemplative experience. I also agree that the milk can seemed wider, at least from certain angles, than what I remember at the Houdini Hall of Fame in the 70s and in photographs. I don't believe it was the glass as nothing else appeared distorted. It may appear wider simply because it was elevated off the ground or because it was viewed from 360 degrees. Anyway, thanks again, John, for the heads up. I wouldn't have otherwise known of the exhibit but for your good work-- I had great remorse when I learned of the Hall of Fame's fire, believing these treasures were lost forever. Good of Copperfield to share his treasures with the public, especially the youngsters I saw being taught about Harry by their parents. --Dale from Cleveland.

  2. Hope everyone who wanted to see this got a chance! Now the clock is ticking on the Catalina exhibition. Ends October 7.