#100daysofArtTweets: Days 20-35
Mother's Day Card

Phantasmagoria Exhibit at the MFA: Boston

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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.

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My Dad was an avid collector of magic lanterns and optical toys.  Magic lanterns are early projection devices.  In this photo of me and my Dad you can see that he's holding a magic lantern:

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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:

from Matthew Balzer on Vimeo.

[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!

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