America’s first international superstar makes a return visit to Baltimore!
A blog post by JMM Executive Director Marvin Pinkert. You can read more posts by Marvin here.
JMM Insights, September 20, 2017
The New Year is upon us and in addition to wishing all our readers a happy and healthy year ahead, I wanted to share some exciting news about the year ahead.
By now most of you know about our next two major exhibits in the Feldman Gallery (both of which have their origin at the National Archives). On October 15 we open Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage featuring more than 20 artifacts and documents from the Iraqi Jewish community, recovered and restored from Saddam Hussein’s secret police headquarters. Looking ahead to next spring, we’ll be launching Amending America: Bill of Rights on April 9 and putting new focus on the Lloyd Street Synagogue as a landmark of religious freedom.
But this summer we’ve continued to add to our calendar, developing a concept for a month-long performance series called “JMM Live” in February, an expansion of our Baltimore edition of the “My Family History” project in March and a collaboration with the Everyman Theater and Rich Hollander on a companion exhibit to the upcoming play Book of Joseph highlights March and April.
Every one of these projects will be a quality experience (and of course, I love all my children and all my exhibits equally) but I have to admit there’s a special excitement around our most recent addition to the program calendar. On June 21, 2018 we will premiere Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini. Houdini, aka Erik Weisz, would be a fascinating subject for an exhibit in any time or place. But the story of a poor immigrant who escaped the shackles of social norms to rise to the status of international celebrity seemed like an ideal topic for an exhibit in our era. To put together this project we’ve reached out to public museums and private collectors across the country – but what really has made the exhibit possible is our extraordinary guest curator, Baltimore magician and storyteller David London.
David has been creating interactive magical experiences for over 20 years. He is the Director of Circus of Wonders, and has been fascinated with Harry Houdini since he was a child. He tells me that he performed his first magic trick at age seven and even his Bar Mitzvah speech explored Jews and magic. Since he signed onto the project in August, he’s been using his network of contacts within the magician community to make this exhibit a truly one-of- a-kind encounter with Houdini and his world. As a special treat for our readers, David has agreed to write a guest blog that we are calling “Finding Houdini,” where he will document his journey over the next several months as his visits Houdini sites, museums and collections. To join him on his adventures, click here! Consider this a small dip of honey to make your New Year that much sweeter.