Today would have been my Father's 74th birthday. It, therefore, seems an extremely appropriate date to tell you about his exhibit -- currently showing -- at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It's called Phantasmagoria and features just a few items from his massive collection.
In essentials, you would place a light (usually a candle) inside the box part (that's why it has a door) and then you would slide a painted glass slide into the slot near the lens (the round metal cylinder), and an image would appear on the wall or a screen. People often refer to magic lanterns as "pre-cinema" devices because it makes it easy to understand what they do.
Three side notes:
- There's a very nice article, from the New Yorker, by magician Ricky Jay about my Dad and his collecting habit.
- You can see some of my Father's collection on his website: dickbalzer.com
- I included some video from the opening of the exhibit, including a nice speech by my Brother, in my vlog.
Finally, Matthew (my Brother) made a film for the exhibit, which you can watch below:
[As a side note, Matthew is currently filming his first feature length film and you can follow the adventure on TheCatch.film instagram.]
If you're anywhere near Boston, I hope you'll stop in and see the exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Thanks for letting me share!