Friday, August 30, 2019

Magic poster exhibition opens at the Harry Ransom Center


The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin has opened an exhibition showcasing rare magic posters from their extensive collections. Among them are several original Houdini posters, including a beautiful one-sheet for The Man From Beyond that I have never seen in color (nor did I know an original even existed). Oh baby! And if that's not enough, they also have on display their two prototype Vanishing Elephant posters.

According to Theatre & Performing Arts Curator Eric Colleary, several of the 19th century posters in the display were part of the collection sold to Houdini by Henry Evans Evanion. The center acquired these along with Houdini's private papers in 1958.

The overall exhibit looks at advances in color lithography and how it coincided with the golden age of magic. The exhibit is free and runs through February 2, 2020.

For more information visit the Harry Ransom Center website.


Photos courtesy Eric Colleary at Kevin Connolly's Conjuring History Facebook group.

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5 comments:

  1. Going to see it next month, Rick Schmidlin

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  2. Thanks. That "Man from Beyond" poster is really striking and unique. Looks like it's in great shape, too.

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    1. I've used a poor quality B&W scan of the this poster from the pressbook on a few posts (like this one). Always dreamed of one day seeing it in color, but never thought that would happen, so I flipped when I saw this! BTW the Ransom Center also has a TMFB 3-sheet poster, and another one sheet that isn't in then pressbook and that I've never seen before.

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    2. Wow, a three-sheet; that must really be amazing. The prospect of Houdini doing battle with Mother Nature instead of a man-made threat must've been a great hook for his public.

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