The Meaning of Beauty

The other day, we went to see the fabulous exhibition “Beauty” by designers Sagmeister&Walsh at Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts). Design does present art in meaningful and aesthetically pleasing ways.

This wonderful exhibition examines the meaning, diversity, and value of beauty in historical context. It is also interactive in the sense that it gives you several opportunities to rate your favorite design (shapes, colors, etc.) and to then compare your taste with those of other visitors.

In addition, Stefan Sagmeister invites you to send him an image of the most beautiful object you have ever created; he may then feature it on his Instagram account.

Not that I have created an awful lot objects in my life, let alone beautiful ones; but this would be my choice:

Impossible Bottle_bw

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20th Anniversary of France’s Maison de la Magie

Blois

This comes a bit late, but I’m going to mention it anyhow because more people should know about it. Last year, the Magic Museum of Blois, France celebrated its 20th anniversary. Its full name reads “Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin Blois”, and it was established in appreciation of Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, commonly and affectionately known as “the father of modern magic” (which is at least partly true), in his hometown of Blois.

The museum does not only feature the life and art of Robert-Houdin; it covers magic’s rich history as well as automata and props. Harry Houdini, both Houdin’s epigone and nemesis, is portrayed here as well. Outside, every half hour a huge mechanical dragon with six heads makes his appearance at the museum’s windows. In addition, there are regular live performances of magicians plus special exhibitions inside. The next one will feature “Optical Fascinations”, starting on April 6th and running until September 22nd.

On occasion of the 20th anniversary, several magical “zero Euro” souvenir bills (the latest hoot for currency collectors) have been issued in 2018, one of them featuring Robert-Houdin in front of the Museum:

RH0

For more information on the Maison de la Magie (in English and French), click here.

Deutschsprachige Informationen gibt es hier.


 

Magic Exhibitions in London

Speaking of magic exhibitions: “Staging Magic” has opened in London and promises to tell “the story behind the illusion.” It will be enhanced by special events and film screenings. You can see it at the Senate House Library, which is part of the University of London, until June 15th.

Staging Magic London

Another exhibition, “Smoke and Mirrors”, will open April 11th at the Wellcome Collection in London and run until September 15th. On that occasion, a new book on magic will be published: “Spectacle of Illusion” by Matthew Tompkins, who, according to the site, “recently became the first member of the Magic Circle to be admitted on the basis of a peer-reviewed scientific publication.”

Spec of Illusion