Illusions at the McCord Museum

Last weekend, I was in Montreal at the McCord Museum. A group of magicians gathered because the McCord Museum was opening a new exhibit dedicated to the (literal) art of magic. In this case, this means Magic Posters.

In the so-called "Golden Age" of magic, travelling performers would have enormous promotional posters which would announce their appearance in a given town. The posters were mainly produced by a technique called stone lithography, which allowed for stunning multi-coloured billboard-sized images to be produced. One of the largest collections of these posters was donated to the McCord Museum by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. These posters were recently put on display in Illusions: The Art of Magic

It's difficult to get a sense of the size and vibrance of the images from photos. The collection really needs to be seen in person to be believed. (That's magic for you!) Here is a small preview courtesy of the McCord:

There's also a gorgeously produced catalog reproducing 230 of the posters in the collection along with historical essays that I'm in the process that I'm in the process of working through.