Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jane's First Museum Exhibit: Houdini- Art and Magic

It is no surprise that I absolutely love museums. And William won HUGE points on our first date by taking me to my favorite museum in Boston- the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (in my mind, it was definitely a sign :-) So even though Jane is barely 2 months old, we are starting her early so that she will enjoy them as well.

On Martin Luther King Jr. day, William had work off so we went up to San Francisco to visit the Contemporary Jewish Museum's exhibit on Houdini. The CJM keeps very accurate records of all of their attendees and so even Miss Jane got her own sticker to wear (and the guards even checked to make sure she had one :-) It was crowded at the exhibit, since it was the last day for it and Jane received a lot of attention from the other patrons. Lots of individuals came up to us and mentioned how cute she was and talked about how they all grow up so fast.

Jane only had one very small crying episode that was quickly silenced by a bottle and she fell back asleep so she did a good job of letting mom and dad enjoy the exhibit of "Houdini: Art and Magic".

William and I didn't know that Houdini was Jewish and that is because he changed his name from Erich Weiz to Harry Houdini after he read a book written by famous French magician, Robert-Houdin. He definitely had performing in his blood as evidenced by his creating his own backyard circus when he was 9 and charging admission for his trapeze work. He met his wife while he was performing and used her for his most famous trick, the Metamorphosis. What was most interesting about the exhibit was seeing the actual objects used such as a replica of the cabinet for the Metamorphosis, the milk can that he stuffed himself into, the handcuffs, as well as photos and videos of him performing these tricks. I didn't realize just how many times he performed his getting out of a straight jacket while hanging upside down trick- it was probably about 5 or 6 times in different cities, once in San Francisco. I also learned that he shared some of his secrets to his illusions in popular magazines, like Ladies' Home Journal. What was most impressive is that many of his tricks dealt with his being able to manipulate his body to make the process easier for him.

The exhibit also included art inspired by Houdini but this was the weakest and least interesting part of the exhibit as how can you top the wonder captured by this great performer, and marketer.

In addition to this being Jane's first museum, it was also her first visit to San Francisco and is the first of many trips (the next one was only a few days later on Saturday).


Brekke said...

Cool exhibit!

Babies are great at museums when they are that little. Audrey's first visit was as early as 2 weeks. I agree - start them early.

Brooke said...

I am not at all surprised that you took her to a museum - I love it! I still remember being at the museum with you when you had to answer all my questions on Egyptian history, and the tour guide sat there in disbelief. Oh, to be as brilliant as Cheryl!