Harry Houdini: Art and Magic & Masters of Illusion at Skirball Cultural Center

Remember when you were little and magic was the coolest thing you had ever seen and wish you could perform magic that would make all your friends drop their jaw. Well you can relive some of those magical memories at the Skirball Center over the next few months. Houdini: Art and Magic and Masters of Illusion are exhibitions that began on April 28th and will continue until September 4, 2011. For those who do not know much about Harry Houdini he was born Ehrich Weisz in Budapest, Hungary and settled in Appleton, Wisconsin where he made his first escape. The allure of bright lights and the stage appealed to young Ehrich and he joined the circus to make his debut as a trapeze artist. By the age of 20 he was performing small acts and shows and had already given himself a new name Harry Houdini. Harry toured all throughout America and Europe with great success which later led him into film.

The exhibit will feature more than 150 objects including film clips, rare photographs, theater ephemera, period posters and even original props like straightjackets, milk cans, and a metamorphosis trunk used by Harry. You will get to see how Harry’s career unfolded and how he was able to mystify audiences with the use of his body to perform extraordinary and uncommon feats. Houdini was so successful because he was able to create suspense and mystery without the use of smoke and mirrors and you will get a glimpse into how he made that happen.

There is a concurrent exhibition called Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age. Here you can look at some of the most celebrated innovators of magic during the “Golden Age” (1875-1948). There are more than 150 treasured artifacts and accomplishment s by some of the greatest magicians including Harry Houdini, Carl Ballantine, Albert “The Great Rameses” Marchinski, Alexander Herrmann, The Great Leon and many others. On display will be lithographs, playbills, costumes, stage props, automata as well as film and radio clips.

Magic has always fascinated the human psyche and now you can see and experience some of the greatest icons in magic and illusion. Tickets are $5 for children ages 2-12, $7 for seniors and full time students, $10 for general admission and those who can make it there on Thursdays it is free. The Skirball Cultural Center is located on N. Sepulveda in the city of Los Angeles. Make it a mystical experience and reignite that young magician in you this weekend.

Where: 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd.,Los Angeles, CA 90049

When: Through September 4th,2011



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