Something old, something new, something borrowed, something…you! That’s right, you. We want you to join us at the 43rd Magic Collectors Weekend, May 10-12, in Chicago. This entry is the first in a series that will outline our programming initiatives for the Weekend.
It is always a challenge to assemble the roster of speakers, performers and subject matter for a conference. We like to program blocks around ideas, people or periods. And for this conference, we have assembled something of interest for just about anyone with an interest in magic, its history and its artifacts.
Wednesday Evening – Flea Market
Although the conference opens officially on Thursday afternoon, many like to arrive the day before to scour the Flea Market presented by the Knights of Sleights where treasure-seekers are sure to unearth the quirky, the slightly-soiled, the sometimes pristine book, prop or paper that creates envy in all but the holder.
Thursday Afternoon – Magic Dealer Central
On Thursday, the Weekend opens with the Dealers Room. Dealers have always been an integral part of magic conventions, and particularly those involving magic history. We have assemble all of the dealers – with posters, books, apparatus, ephemera – in one room, complete with table and chairs where delegates can also take a break and enjoy a casual conversation.
Unlike most magic conventions, however, where dealers usually sell the same item to lots of people, our Weekend is a treasure hunter’s dream – most items are unique and if, you don’t act fast, you may miss the chance to add it to your repertoire or collection. It is literally first come, first served. Fortunately, we like to schedule lots of time in the opening afternoon for the business of buying and selling magic collectibles.
If scarce and rare magic collectibles aren’t enough, we’ve added another dimension to the dealers’ room: Angleo Iafrate and his lathe. Many of you have seen the beautiful wood products turned by the skilled hands of Mr. Iafrate. Here you will have the chance to see him spin that special something right before your eyes. Think about it. Most of us, if we had the chance, would jump back in time to see Floyd Thayer work his lathe. Unfortunately, we can’t. We can, however, see the modern master, Mr. Iafrate, create his own works of art.
And then, before we break for dinner and sample one of many nearby eateries with friends old and new, we will give the dealers an opportunity to speak to the group, and let them tell us what extra special wares they have in store.
Thursday Evening – Guests of Honor | Wine & Cheese Reception
The official program will then resume at 8:00 PM with presentations by our two guests of honor: James Hagy and Richard Kaufman. James is the perennial mystic! A behind-the-scenes player who has devoted a lifetime to collecting magic, and sharing his knowledge – and his collection – with others through such publications as Mystics Magazine, Mystics Quarterly and, of course, The Perennial Mystics.
Richard Kaufman is not only one of the most prolific writer-publishers in the history of magic whose works on contemporary performers and past masters have inspired as many magicians as those who were inspired by the works of Robert-Houdin, Hoffman and Sachs, but he is also a collector. He suffers the same affliction as the rest of us, the deep desire to hold and behold magic and its history.
We have asked James and Richard to speak about their passion, and the people and collections they have encountered during their lifelong commitment to magic.
We will then retire to the lobby for a complimentary wine and cheese reception with our guests of honor.
Next up: Friday Morning Session.