Series: Jewish Museum
Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press; First edition (October 29, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 10.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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"Houdini: Art and Magic" is a good companion to the recent Houdini retrospective at the Jewish Museum and elsewhere. The exhibition itself combined Houdini memorabilia (such as posters advertising his shows), artifacts from Houdini's performances (such as handcuffs from his collection and a straitjacket), various personal effects such as family photos, and several pieces of conceptual art. It was a pleasure to see so much of this material in one place, and the book does a great job of reproducing most of it here, in a high-quality hardcovered format. This is a book that will have a place in your library for years, alongside other magic-themed books you may own. Space is devoted to Houdini's personal life, his professional accomplishments, and - to a degree - his efforts to combat spiritualism.This isn't as good a read as I expected, however. It's somewhat of a stretch to connect Houdini to modern performance art, but the pieces of contemporary painting shown here seem to be "inspired" by Houdini without having anything really interesting to add to his legacy. A lot of the commentary in the various essays in this book also fall prey to this by trying to help Houdini "escape" from the world of illusion into the world of art. In my opinion, Houdini's magical achievements are stunning enough. So many once well-known magicians who have died in the past 25 years are now remembered only by other magicians whereas Houdini - dead for almost a century - still lives on in our imaginations. So, why not allow Houdini to speak more for himself by reproducing excerpts from some of his books? Even though these were ghostwritten, they do reflect Houdini's thoughts as he authorized these books.
The Jewish Museum in New York City created an exhibit of Houdini's art and magic (October 29, 2010 - March 27, 2011). The premier exhibition product was this book, Houdini: Art and Magic (2010), by curator and writer Brooke Kamin Rapaport, with contributions of chapters by historian Alan Brinkley on Houdini's immigration, historian Hasia R. Diner on Houdini's wife, curator Gabriel de Guzman on the Houdini's chronology, and biographer Kenneth Silverman on Houdini's Jewishness.I especially enjoyed Rapaport's chapter of interviews containing Q&A sessions with fifteen contemporary writers, magicians, and artists who talked about the lingering influence of Harry Houdini on their works and performances. E.L. Doctorow told how Houdini became a visual force for him as a writer. Raymond Joseph Teller (the silent half of Penn and Teller) told how Houdini, who died in 1926, continues to influence magicians and American culture today. Rapaport interviewed a number of creative people for whom Houdini became a "patron saint, role model, and inspiration," including such artists as, surrealist Matthew Barney, realist Whitney Bedford, wood artist Joe Coleman, sculptor Perah Coyne, painter and printmaker Jane Hammond, videographer Tim Lee, unconventional artist Vik Muniz, holographer Ikuo Nakamura, painter Deborah Oropallo, graphic artist Raymond Pettibon, Jewish artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty, conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg, and minimalist Christopher Wood.
Houdini: Art and Magic (Jewish Museum) Quien fue Harry Houdini? / Who Was Harry Houdini? (Spanish Edition) Five Centuries of Hanukkah Lamps from The Jewish Museum: A Catalogue Raisonné (Published in Association with the Jewish Museum, New York S) Hurry Up, Houdini! (Magic Tree House (R) Merlin Mission) The Other in Jewish Thought and History: Constructions of Jewish Culture and Identity (New Perspectives on Jewish Studies) Books of Breathing and Related Texts -Late Egyptian Religious Texts in the British Museum Vol.1 (Catalogue of the Books of the Dead and Other Religious Texts in the British Museum) The Copan Sculpture Museum: Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone (Peabody Museum) Peruvian Featherworks: Art of the Precolumbian Era (Metropolitan Museum of Art) The Baine Chronicles Series, Books 1-3: Burned by Magic, Bound by Magic, Hunted by Magic Summary - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: By Marie Kondo -The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up ... Paperback, Audiobook, Audible, Japen) Art of a Jewish Woman: The True Story of How a Penniless Holocaust Escapee Became an Influential Modern Art Connoisseur (formerly titled Felice's Worlds) Red and White Quilts: Infinite Variety: Presented by The American Folk Art Museum Emperors' Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei Delft Ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: Selected Works David Bowie Is... (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago: Exhibition Catalogues) Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period (Duke University Museum of Art) The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings (Metropolitan Museum of Art) From Periphery To Center: Art Museum Education in the 21st Century Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)