La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin

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This article is about the magic museum in Blois. For the magic museum in Paris, see Musée de la Magie.
La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin
photo of the front of the mansion that houses the French magic museum, "La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin". Large figures of crocodiles and a snake seem to be coming out of the open windows.
La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin, in Blois, France. Large figures of dragons and a dragon tail seem to be coming out of the open windows.
Established 1998-06-01
Location 1 bis, place du Château, 41000 Blois, France
Website Official website of the House of Magic
Statue in front of Robert-Houdin's home in Blois

La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin (French for "The Robert-Houdin House of Magic") is a museum which faces the Royal Château de Blois. It is located in the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France, in the center of the city of Blois.[1] As a museum of France and bearing the official label of "Musée de France", it is the only public museum in Europe which incorporates in one place collections of magic and a site for permanent performing arts.[2][3] The creation of such a site is directly linked to the personality of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, a famous French illusionist born in Blois in 1805.[3][4]

History[edit]

Inaugurated in 1998, the museum highlights the life and work of Robert-Houdin—multi-talented illusionist, prestidigitator, inventor, clockmaker and maker of automatons.[4]

In 1981, descendants of Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin left to the city of Blois the building and all its accessories with a gift requiring they be exposed to the public.[1] 170 objects that were constructed or collected by Robert-Houdin are in the museum.[3]

The museum hosts a number of events, some of which recur. The include: exhibition of portraits of the greatest magicians; magical encounters (on weekends in July and August); lectures on Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin; evening shows; proceedings of 'the Gala magic clubs of Blois'; and awards to the best magical practitioners.[1][2]

Guided tours are conducted by illusionists.[4]

Attractions[edit]

Highlights include: The six-headed dragon automaton, which was constructed by artists Michel and Jean-Pierre Hartmann[1] and which operates every hour; the rotunda, which contains artifacts and displays on the history of magic, pictures and music;[1] the Greek temple honoring jugglers of the Middle Ages, the physicist Pinetti (eighteenth century magician Joseph Pinetti Willedall de Merci), and genius inventor Buatier De Kolta;[1] a life-sized kaleidoscope[4] and the 'chessboard of the optical illusions';[1][4][5] an exposition of "The firm of Robert-Houdin fantastic" (Level 1), displaying his watchmaking workshop, scientific research (in optics and electricity) magical craft and 'the mysterious clock'.[1] On Level 3, the "hallucinoscope" ("brainchild" of Gerard Majax) immerses the participant into the world of Jules Verne and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.[1]

Another area is the "Georges Méliès space", which honors him as a magician and as the father of film special effects.[1]

Magic shows are conducted daily,[1][4] and the building is open daily during the tourist season.[2][4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "House of Magic -- Blois (French)". Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Blois, The House of Magic Celebrates Ten Years". June 11, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c "House of Magic Robert-Houdin". Museums in Central Region. Association of Personal scientific museums in the central region (APSMRC). Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "House of Magic". Art Museums around the world. Saatchi Gallery. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Blois, Le Pays de Chambord, Maison de la Magie". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°35′11″N 1°19′58.62″E / 47.58639°N 1.3329500°E / 47.58639; 1.3329500