Another highlight of my Paris adventures was my visit to the Musée de la Magie. I already did Magicum in Berlin this year which you can read here, but my quest to discover magic museums worldwide continues!
The Musée de la Magie was created by Georges Proust, a devout magician and lover of conjurers, wizards and psychics. According to the receptionist, every item is personally collected by Mr Proust and it all began in 1987! And you can really feel the love of the collector, even if the building was a 16th century dungeon! That’s probably the charm, as the cellars are hidden away which adds to the mystery. This is magic after all!
There are dedicated vaulted rooms on Robert-Houdin, Buatier De Kolta, Joseph Pinetti and father of VFX Georges Méliès and more.
Polychrome posters are dotted all over the museum which really give you a sense of excitement and showmanship. I guess it brings me back to how I felt knowing that the circus or funfair was in town as a kid. Those posters still exist too and haven’t changed much either since the 90s design wise. Of course, 19th and 20th Polychromes are a rarity today… Most magic and circus posters were created in Germany in Hamburg by Lithographer Adolph Friedländer.
The automation artefacts were creepy, but incredibly immersive as you have to press a button or wind a key to catch the action. Perhaps the closest reference is a lurid version of Geppetto’s clock workshop in the film Pinocchio (1940). It’s actually, one of my favourite Disney movies for sound design and story.
There was also an entertaining magic show in the theatre where a magician performed famous tricks like the magic string, rope and ring and awesome sleight of hand tricks with cards. I enjoyed the cups and ball trick performed with one cup only, definitely a crowd pleaser and the kids loved it too.
The fake spiritism cabinets were a treat for me! In fact, one of the magicians in the museum came by as he was intrigued at how fixated I was and so I told him that I was a psychic entertainer. We ended up in a conversation where I whipped out my…
Tarot deck and did him a quick reading which he appreciated. I also attempted my magic key trick but it didn’t quite work, I was probably nervous. Luckily that trick worked on a seasoned Magician at another event earlier this year where he applauded my work! The Magician at the Musée de la Magie told me he hopes one day to see my show if I get to do it in Paris. How lovely!
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