A few weeks ago, I received an email from Mark Leveridge, the editor of MagicSeen, a magic magazine for the younger and cooler side of the magic profession. Mark wanted to publish an article about magic collecting and, having found my blog interesting, decided to interview myself and Fergus Roy, the noted collector, organizer of magic collecting events, scholar, magic historian and part of the well-known Davenport family, on why magic collecting is important.
Issue nr. 49 of MagicSeen magazine is now available, both printed and electronically (a PDF) and it contains a nice article with the opinions of Fergus and myself on why it is important to collect and preserve old magic artefacts, while giving some information about how to start collecting magic and on what resources/events are available. Many photos accompany the article, including one of of the “Hoffmann’s Table” described in what seems to be – to date – the most popular article on my blog.
Magic is an ephemeral Art: it only exists when it is performed for one or more individuals and only for the brief moment of the Magic Act itself. Unlike painting, sculpting, music or cinema, Magic doesn’t leave behind objects that represent it, that can allow it to be experienced by other individuals or by future generations. What Magic leaves behind are either the tools to create it (the red boxes decorated with yellow dragons!) or the dreams and promises it made with posters or advertising material. I believe it is important to preserve all we can of what was once used to give the illusion of magic as this is the only way to remember it, there is no other way!
The above is my vision on why we should collect and preserve magic, in the words I gave Mark in reply to his question, and that have been used in the opening paragraph of the article. I hope this article can express clearly my vision of magic collecting and that it may inspire young people to look at Magic not just as a way to amuse friends and families, but as a human endeavour with a long history, that should be protected to help us understand what creates the sense of awe in man.
The magazine can be bought on the MagicSeen website itself and on Lybrary.com. In the photo gallery below, you can have a sneak preview of the pages of the article. I am sure collectors will want a copy of the magazine, but will it be electronic or printed?
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