Sleight of Hand: Magic and Spiritualism in the Early 20th Century
Mon Oct 22, 2018 – Sun Jan 20, 2019
The Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402
What is magic? Is it the magician who levitates a woman above the darkened stage of the Pantages Theater? The medium who gazes into the depths of Commencement Bay to awaken the ghosts of lost sailors? The escape artist who dangles himself in a straitjacket from the Seattle Times building, smiling at the crowds below?
Magic is all of these things and more.
An art of deception and wonder, magic has been practiced throughout human history as a means not only to entertain but also to enlighten. We think of magic in the modern era as a brief amusement, yet in times past, this craft was used in places as disparate as religious ceremonies, public speaking, and warfare. Magic has also served as a platform for the voiceless to speak, as seen in the connections between spiritualism and the suffragette movement.
This exhibition showcases the magicians who came through the Pacific Northwest. It tells the intriguing story of how magic has impacted society as a whole, giving the discipline historical significance while entertaining and engaging the public.
We're not divulging the secrets of magic (sorry!), but rather seek to delight visitors through sharing lost arts and mysteries. Come and be amazed!