Recently a friend and I had an opportunity to visit The American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan. The Museum which opened its doors in 1978 was a labor of love for Bob and Elaine Lund. They managed to create something of real value for magicians and magic enthusiasts. With much of magic's history in the hands of private collectors there are very few public places where you will find such treasures. My expectation was that this would be a cool place to visit and it was. What I did not expect was how it would reside in my thoughts for days afterwards. For many of us magic has been a passion which has not waned throughout our lifetime. If the previous statement describes you then you should make the trip to Marshall Michigan. You will not be disappointed. Being in this Museum with all of its history is rather strange. There are notebooks from long forgotten magicians which are rich in detail with sketches that leave you speechless. Then there is Okito who died nearly penniless leaving behind a brown suit and a red trunk. He was buried in the brown suit but the red trunk is here, its drawers still holding on to the secrets within. You are struck by the sheer number of magicians that have passed before you. The famous and the little known, reside side by side in the Museum which slowly gives up its ghosts.
Bob Lund passed away in 1995 and for the next eleven years the Museum was managed by his wife Elaine with the able assistance of Jim Klodzen and several volunteers. Jim was named Curator three years ago as Elaine's health started to decline. Elaine passed away earlier this year and Jim has continued the legacy of the Lund's working with a few volunteers trying to keep pace with the donated collections which still arrive from time to time. Their task is daunting especially when you realize that none of these people are paid. They even cover their own expenses!
Funding for this important work is critical. The bottom line is that without continued funding the Museum could be in danger of going under.
If the Museum closes its doors the collection would probably wind up in the hands of private collectors. Locking these treasures away for the privileged few would be a crime.
Maybe you will never make a trip to Marshall, Michigan. But this year you will probably spend $20.00 or more on a trick that you will never perform. Why not save the drawer space and donate that money to the Museum. By doing this you will help to ensure that magic's past will be available for future generations of magicians.
You can donate money by contacting the:
American Museum of Magic
107 E. Michigan Ave.
P.O. Box 5
Marshall, Michigan 49068
Phone: (269) 781-7570