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Close-Ups in The Vincent Astor Gallery

Reality Transformed [aka Magical Secrets Revealed]

Three centuries of posters and how-to books reveal some of the mysteries of performed magic. Houdini and his turn-of-the-century rivals used diagrammatic illustrations on their posters. The books included step-by-step instructions on card tricks, disappearing ladies and slight-of-hand illusions.

Houdini water trick poster, Morgan-Russell Lith., 1911
Billy Rose Theatre Collection
Title page and frontispiece of Breslau's Last Legacy; or, The Conjurer unmasked…, London, 1792
Billy Rose Theatre Collection

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