Shalom Life | July 31, 2014

Show Features Look at Houdini and his Magic

"Houdini: Art and Magic" Opens at NY's Jewish Museum.

By: Dan Verbin

Published: November 1st, 2010 in Culture » Stage » News

Show Features Look at Houdini and his Magic

A new exhibit on Harry Houdini titled “Houdini: Art and Magic” opened last Friday at the Jewish Museum in New York.

The exhibit features handcuffs, shackles, a torture chamber, a straightjacket, and a life-size model of the Chinese Water Torture Cell that Houdini miraculously escaped from, captivating audiences everywhere and earning a reputation for defying death.

The front of the Water Torture Cell is glass and audiences would watch in distress as Houdini was lowered by his ankles into the tank.

The show includes photos, posters, never before seen private diaries and silent films of Houdini performing.

However, none of Houdini’s secrets will be revealed. The show does not delve into how the influential and pioneering escape artist was able to accomplish his amazing feats. "The exhibition is not a how-to show. There is a tradition in the magic field that performance secrets aren't revealed and we are respecting that," curator Brooke Kamin Rapaport told Reuters.

"The show is an interdisciplinary exhibition. We integrate historic posters, broadsides, photographs, film and Houdini's magic apparatus with contemporary pieces," she added.

Harry Houdini, born Erik Weisz in Hungary in 1874, is considered the most famous magician and escapist in history. He was known for his ability to break out of seemingly insurmountable situations. Known as the “Handcuff King,” Houdini first thrilled audiences by escaping from handcuffs provided by audience members. He later stunned crowds of the day by escaping from a straightjacket suspended upside down high above the ground. During his career, he escaped from jail cells, locked crates thrown into lakes and canvas mailbags, among others.

However, he is most known for his on stage tricks, including the Water Torture Cell.

Rapaport said that Houdini was not only a source of inspiration to generations of magicians who came after him but also to the general public of his time.

"For the thousands of spectators who would watch his escapes that performance was probably symbolic because liberation from political, racial or religious oppression was a true aspiration to the 19th century immigrant community who traveled to America in those years.”

“Houdini: Art and Magic” runs at the Jewish Museum until March when it moves to San Francisco and then Madison, Wisconsin.

Shalom, Suriname: A Jewish Culture Guide Shalom, Suriname: A Jewish Culture Guide TrendingAndrew Lloyd Webber is Suing Michael Cohl Andrew Lloyd Webber is Suing Michael Cohl TrendingThe Love Jewce: Why Ron Dermer and other NJB’s are Freaking Sexy The Love Jewce: Why Ron Dermer and other NJB’s are Freaking Sexy Trending
 

Drake Beats Usher For Most R&B/Hip-Hop No. 1’s on Billboard

July 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Drake Beats Usher For Most R&B/Hip-Hop No. 1’s on Billboard

Drake made Billboard history, beating Usher's previous No. 1's record.

Read More

Daniel Radcliffe Trades in His Magic Wand For Electric Hair Clippers [VIDEO]

July 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Daniel Radcliffe Trades in His Magic Wand For Electric Hair Clippers [VIDEO]

The 'Horns' star cut a college student's hair on Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday night

Read More

Judd Apatow, J.J. Abrams and Quentin Tarantino Join Forces to Save Film

July 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Judd Apatow, J.J. Abrams and Quentin Tarantino Join Forces to Save Film

A few of Hollywood's biggest directors have struck a deal with Eastman Kodak.

Read More

Lena Dunham to Do Live Reading, Q&A at JFL42 in Toronto

July 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham to Do Live Reading, Q&A at JFL42 in Toronto

The 'Girls' creator will also sit down with CBC's Jian Ghomeshi for an interview

Read More

Six Israeli IPOs to Watch in 2014

July 30, 2014 | By Michael Lefkoe, NoCamels
Six Israeli IPOs to Watch in 2014

A look at those Israeli companies that plan to go public on either NYSE or NASDAQ by the end of the year

Read More

Magic Johnson, Other NBA Players Call Off Visit to Israel

July 30, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Magic Johnson, Other NBA Players Call Off Visit to Israel

Were originally scheduled to play at the opening of Jerusalem's new arena

Read More

Jewish Hall of Fame: David Rosen

July 30, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall of Fame: David Rosen

The American businessman served as CEO of Japanese video game company SEGA from 1965 to 1996

Read More

Ex-Hasidic Jew Has “Divine Intervention” Over Sexy Photos

July 30, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Ex-Hasidic Jew Has “Divine Intervention” Over Sexy Photos

After Brenda Rosenberg was injured in a car accident, members of her former community called it a "message" from God

Read More

More Headlines