Apollo Subscribe
Art Diary

Illusions: The Art of Magic

24 July 2020

While some museums remain shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are now reopening as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

The celebrity performers of their day, magicians were integral to the show-business boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, embarking on worldwide tours to dazzle audiences with their tricks and stunts. This display of posters, photographs and archival documents at the Art Gallery of Ontario (until 8 November) explores the remarkable feats of performers such as Harry Kellar and Harry Houdini, as well as lesser known magicians such as Adelaide Herrmann, while a series of projections shines a light on famous illusions of the era. With their bold designs and wondrous imagery, the posters on show also reveal these artists’ adroitness at self-promotion. Find out more from the Art Gallery of Ontario’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Alexander, Crystal Seer, Sees Your Life from the Cradle to the Grave

Alexander, Crystal Seer, Sees Your Life from the Cradle to the Grave (1915), Av Yaga. Photo: © McCord Museum

Houdini Presents His Own Original Invention (1916), Strobridge Lithographing Company.

Houdini Presents His Own Original Invention (1916), Strobridge Lithographing Company. Photo: © McCord Museum

Thurston the Great Magician – Do the Spirits Come Back? (1915), Strobridge Lithographing Company.

Thurston the Great Magician – Do the Spirits Come Back? (1915), Strobridge Lithographing Company. Photo: © McCord Museum

Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco (1905), Adolph Friedländer.

Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco (1905), Adolph Friedländer. Photo: © McCord Museum