9 Amazing Posters From the Golden Age of Magic
A forthcoming museum exhibit showcases the advertising used by the likes of Harry Houdini, Adelaide Herrmann, and other turn-of-the-century performers.
Harry Houdini didn’t simply employ magic tricks to stack his crowds with people, he also used good old-fashioned advertising. The incredible posters and handbills that lured customers to shows during the Golden Age of Magic—the 1880s to the 1930s—were a form of art in their own right. Some of the stunning artwork that announced appearances by Houdini and other master magicians, like the renowned Thurston the Great, will soon be on display at the McCord Museum in Montreal as part of Illusions: The Art of Magic.Curated with the help of David Ben, a magician and magic historian, the exhibition draws from the museum’s unparalleled collection of 600 posters and 1000 handbills, programs, autographs, rare books, and other documents from the era. Here are just a few of the 71 posters that will be on display: