The colorful and alluring exhibit features items related to Alexander Herrmann, Harry Kellar, Harry and Bess Houdini, Howard Thurston, Chung Ling Soo (William Robinson), Adelaide Herrmann, Alexander, the Man Who Knows, and numerous others from the 1880s through the 1930s, what the exhibition refers to as "The Golden Age of Magic." Some of the most notable items relate to Houdini, including his Metamorphosis trunk, a milk can, and a costume worn by Bess Houdini. It is also striking to see one of the rifles used by William Robinson in his guise of Chung Ling Soo, in the bullet catch act, which eventually resulted in his death while performing it. The exhibition also features a case full of the types of tricks purchased in magic shops over decades and that will be the envy of anyone who ever covetously paged through the catalog of a favorite magic shop. There also is a selection of stunning, large lithographs, and visitors will have the chance to see one of Copperfield's most well-known illusions.
The Historical Society has also been presenting an extensive series of magic-related programming throughout the summer. Remaining events include today's (August 26) demonstration of a magic lantern show, and a final weekend of performances on September 15 and 16 featuring Duffy Hudson as Harry Houdini.
The New-York Historical Society is located at 170 Central Park West at 77th Street. For more information about Summer of Magic: https://www.nyhistory.org/summer-magic.