Collections and Reseach

Strobridge Lithographing Company, Kellar, 1899. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.299 © McCord Museum

The Golden Age of Magic Posters

In 2015, the McCord Museum announced the acquisition of a remarkable collection of magic posters and numerous archival items documenting the career of Harry Houdini (1874–1926), the most famous magician of the modern age.

One of the extraordinary features of the Allan Slaight Collection is its magnificent, unique posters. A combination of art and advertising, these illustrations employ phantasmagorical imagery to depict acts beyond the understanding of the average person. Created primarily during the Golden Age of Magic, from the 1880s to the 1930s, these works fired the public imagination even as they fulfilled their marketing goals.

Click here to discover the posters from this collection.

  • Strobridge Lithographing Company, <i>Kellar</i>, 1899. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.299 © McCord Museum
  • The Otis Lithograph Company, <i>Thurston, Master Magician – All out of a Hat</i>, about 1924. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.555 © McCord Museum
  • Strobridge Lithographing Company, <i>Thurston the Great Magician – Do the Spririts Come Back?</i>, 1915. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.421 © McCord Museum
  • Strobridge Lithographing Company, <i>Kellar</i>, 1902. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.284 © McCord Museum
  • Adolph Friedländer , <i>Kassner, der groβe Zauberer</i>, 1929. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.262 © McCord Museum
  • The Dangerfield Printing Company Limited, <i>Houdini Upside Down in the Water Torture Cell</i>, about 1915. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.229 © McCord Museum
  • The Otis Lithograph Company, <i>Master Mystifier Houdini, the Greatest Necromancer of the Age, Perhaps of All Times</i>, 1926. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.221 © McCord Museum
  • Strobridge Lithographing Company, <i>Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic</i>, 1903. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.208 © McCord Museum
  • J. Olséns Litografiska Anstalt, <i>Dante’s Mysterier [Dante’s Mysteries]</i>, 1931. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.111 © McCord Museum
  • Illinois Litho Company, <i>Carter the Mysterious</i>, 1905. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.86 © McCord Museum
  • Av Yaga, <i>Alexander, the Man Who Knows</i>, 1915. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, M2014.128.3 © McCord Museum

Not to be missed!