Sometimes advertising can be art, and nowhere is that more true than the posters of the golden age of magic. From the late 19th-early 20th century, magicians used posters to proclaim their talents, advertise their shows, and give their powers of prestidigitation metaphorical weight with bold lines, striking colors, and loads of ethereal and supernatural imagery. If if you’re in Quebec between now and the first week of January, you can check out a whole collection of these original works of wonder.
Since May of this year, the McCord Museum has hosted Illusions: The Art of Magic, a collection of 600 posters from throughout the era, featuring advertisements for the acts of famous magicians of the era, like Carter, Thurston, Keller, and Houdini. These posters are on display along with over a thousand documents and books, featuring correspondence, flyers, notes, and more. This trove of magic history is known as the Allan Slaight Collection, and is one of the largest collections in Canada.
The exhibit will run until January 7, 2018, so act quickly if you want to see this collection while it’s available to the public. Visit the McCord Museum’s website for more information.
If you’re unable to visit the exhibit, you can purchase a hardcover art book named after the exhibit, featuring over 250 pieces from the collection, for $49.95.