Saturday, October 23, 2010

Houdini / Art and Magic

The Jewish Museum is presenting the first major art museum exhibition to examine Houdini's life, legend, and enduring cultural influence from October 29, 2010 through March 27, 2011.  Through 163 objects, including 26 recent works of art inspired by Houdini, exhibition visitors will be able to explore the career and legacy of the celebrated entertainer while considering his lasting impact on contemporary art and culture.

Works in a variety of media by such artists as Matthew Barney, Jane Hammond, Vic Muniz, and Raymond Pettibon will be on view along with historic photographs; dramatic Art Nouveau-era posters and broadsides; theater ephemera; and archival and silent films.  Magic apparatus - rarely exhibited together - handcuffs, shackles, straitjacket, a milk can and a packing trunk will be showcased in the context of their original presentation.  A recreation of the famous Water Torture Cell (much of the original was destroyed in a fire in 1995) will also be included.  Visitors will learn about Houdini's evolution from a fledgling circus performer in the 1890s, to a stage magician at the turn-of-the 20th century, to a daring escape artist in the early 1900s, and a world-famous celebrity who commanded a mass audience.

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
New York, NY  10128

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