Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 1 DC Symposium on Magic History

So I just got home a few minutes ago after a long day at the conference. Now, when I say long day, I mean that in the best way. I was up at 6am and arrived home around 12:30am. But all the stuff that went on today was fantastic. My booth with my artwork looks fantastic and I have a primo spot! (thank you again Ken Trombly). My booth is next to Ray Goulet but the day was so busy I hardly had time to say hello.

Dean, Adele and her Boss!
The conference didn't really begin until 8pm, but the dealers room opened in the afternoon. I sort of expected my booth to be the oddball because, #1, no actual magic history items, though it was filled with paintings of historical magicians, and #2, not many people know me. However, as it turns out, a LOT of people there know me! I saw a lot of friends, like the lovely and charming Adele Friel Rhindress who worked for Blackstone Sr. and is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.
I got to see my friend Trixie Bond and her husband and see more pictures of a special project she had done in her 'magic room' using some of my artwork. It was wonderful.

I spent an hour+ talking to James Hamilton about Alexander Herrmann. I've wanted to meet James for years and it was a joy talking to him and learning about his vast knowledge of Herrmann. OH, and he let me know I need to make a correction to one of my blog articles, which has a slight error! I will be changing that after I finish this.

I met Rory Feldman who owns a huge Thurston collection. He didn't have a booth or a display, he is just attending the conference. I was very glad to finally meet him. He couldn't be a nicer fellow and I'm looking forward to seeing his collection up in NYC soon.

Carnegie, Adele, Rory
I met a couple local guys, Mike Rose, who actually helped me out with a Joe Karson piece for my blog, but this was the first time we met face to face. Also a fellow named John Martin who collects Magic Posters was there and we talked for quite a while. Nice guys both. And Lee Asher's Dad, well, I might have to write a blog article just about our conversation alone, it was awesome!

I must say I met so many wonderful people today that I know I'm going to forget some and I apologize for that. Bill Schmeelk from Wellington Enterprises came over and admired my artwork. Ron Cartlidge also spent some time at my booth. Sara Crasson, who is a lawyer and magician had some very intriguing things to say about magic and intellectual property laws and she is writing a column for GENII about it. So I've got to check that out.

But I know you all want to know about the evening talks. Well, there was some confusion about the list of speakers, which I'm not quite sure what happened, but Eric Henning had to take over the opening spot and gave a talk on Charles Bertram which I really enjoyed. Next was David Saltman, who has the wonderful blog He spoke on Jerry Andrus and Houdini and his talk was great. He had a lot of footage of Jerry presenting his optical illusions and a little magic. It was awesome! I frankly can't wait for his book to come out, which is about Houdini's time in Russia. If you remember, I wrote a blog about Houdini's time in Russia also, but David has uncovered far more than I did.

There were two fellows who spoke about the John Salisse Magic Collection and I forget their names but I really enjoyed their talk. The posters they acquired are incredible and apparently one of the fellows has given a talk on Dr. Lynn,which I must find more about!

Tom Ewing did a great job the activities of the night and Rich Bloch made a surprise appearance accepting awards for both Nick Ruggerio and Carl Williams, neither of whom was able to attend.

I met Bruce MacNab in the dealer room and finally got his book, but I'll miss his talk tomorrow. Though he said he would fill me in once I returned, so I'm looking forward to that. I have to say, for my first magic history conference, I am having a GREAT TIME!

Oh, I almost forgot, just before they closed the dealer room near midnight, I got to meet the fellow who bought the Robert Heller Hat! I'm so glad he came up to say hello. I'm glad that hat has a new home and someone who appreciates Heller's contribution to the art.

More news tomorrow...


  1. Thanks Dean. WISH I was there. Have a great time.

  2. Dean, great to finally meet face to face. BTW, the men who talked about Salisse were Dean Arnold & Stephen Fenton.

  3. Great meeting you as well Mike. Thanks for filling in the names of the two gentlemen who spoke about Salisse, Dean Arnold and Stephen Fenton.

  4. Hey, Dean, it was great finally meeting you in person. Thanks for the kind words. You might be interested to know that just being there at the conference produced a lot of new info on Houdini in Russia, which I'll be blogging in the near future.