American Museum of Magic

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Jim Klodzen » 11/19/09 10:29 PM

Hello all!

It's been a while since most of you have heard from or seen me. For the last two years my only goal in magic was to get The American Museum of Magic on its feet and going. No one, except me, knows the true stories that went on for the last few years, but it's funny that everyone "has heard" or "knows." I thought it was time to let everyone know what's going on at the museum.

The American Museum of Magic last week hired a full time Director; his name is Jeff Taylor. Jeff bring with him 20 years of professional museum experience and comes to the museum from service as the Curator of Collections at the Alfred P. Sloan Museum in Flint Michigan. My friends, this is the person I wanted to take on this task. I hope that everyone reading this will support Jeff in his new postion and get to know him.

For those who don't know, The American Museum of Magic has a board of directors consisting of what I believe is the best qualifed board it has ever had. Each member brings an outstanding talent that the board desperately needed over the years. The board has some of the top people in the museum world, conservators, lawyer, fund raiser, the list goes on.

Our graphic artist on the board is in the process of creating a new website. As most of you know, I put up the old one and I'll be honest, I'm not a web designer, so look in the next few months for the site.

We just shipped out several items on loan to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for an exhibition that they will have next year.

The bottom line is that The American Museum of Magic is moving forward. Our goal is to become the "Smithsonian Museum of American Magic." I welcome everyone to become a part of it!

Jim Klodzen
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Postby mai-ling » 11/20/09 11:14 AM

glad to hear about it jim.
i hope to meet jeff in the near future.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista

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Postby hugmagic » 11/21/09 08:44 PM

Jim,
My best wishes on this. I know Bob would want this to continue so the public could enjoy it not holed up where no one can see or use it.

Richard
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Postby magicam » 11/21/09 09:40 PM

^^^ Richard, I'm not sure you're correct about Bob's wishes, but that's a moot point now since Bob is gone.
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Postby Jim Klodzen » 11/22/09 11:38 AM

You are correct, nobody knows for sure what Bob what have done and you are correct almost 15 years later it is a moot point. However Elaine set the museum in motion by making it a not for profit organization and providing for it after she passed.

Once again thanks for everyone that has supported it and I welcome everyone to come for a visit. If anyone has questions feel free to email me or call the museum or me.
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Postby magicam » 11/23/09 04:24 AM

I kept my comments to Richard (hugmagic) brief to minimize the risk of drawing attention away from the welcomed news that the AMoM board is trying to make the museum as productive and effective a resource as it can be, but perhaps some clarification is appropriate.

Richard wrote, I know Bob would want this to continue so the public could enjoy it not holed up where no one can see or use it. Now, perhaps Richard had some private conversations with Bob Lund in which Mr. Lund expressed those very sentiments, but in the few conversations I had with Bob on this topic over a period of some 15 years, Bob seemed pretty resolved that his collection would somehow ultimately be recycled back into the collecting community, and David Meyers comments in the recent Magicol also seem to confirm that. But as Jim correctly observes, at this time the issue of how Bob wanted to dispose of his collection is moot. Perhaps if there is any lesson here, it is that, if you are sure how you want your collection to be treated after your death, then you should make that crystal clear prior to your passing.

But the most important point to make about Richards comments is this: I believe Richard has (unintentionally, Im sure) done a disservice to the many private collectors who have gone out of their way to make their collections available to students and researchers of our art. Based on over 30 years of experience as a student and researcher, I can say that Ive enjoyed far greater access to research materials via private collections than public and/or institutionalized collections. So I must disagree with the notion that a privately held collection is holed up where no one can see or use it - if that is in fact what Richard meant to imply - for that is the polar opposite of my experiences.

But thats not to say that a publicly/institutionally held collection is incapable of affording a good degree of access and utility to scholars, and to return to the good news shared by Jim and the topic of this thread, perhaps this is one of the AMoM boards goals.
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Postby magicam » 11/23/09 05:17 AM

Apologies for the additional post (I can no longer edit the above), but I neglected to explain that Bob was one of those private collectors who spent an exceptional amount of time assisting other collectors, thus the irony of Richard's "holed up..." comment.

When I was a high school student, Bob spent nearly three full days with me in his library, and despite the fact that I was a kid who knew practically nothing in comparison to him, Bob treated me with the utmost respect and courtesy. As the years have passed, the import of what he did has grown and been a source of inspiration to me.

My apologies to Jim Klodzen for this diversion, but those who knew Bob will understand the reason for the foregoing comments.
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Postby Jim Klodzen » 11/23/09 08:19 AM

Bob and Elaine did the same for me. That's the reason why I'm still a part of the museum.
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Postby David Alexander » 11/23/09 06:45 PM

When I was doing some research a few years ago I found Jim to be extremely helpful, in the same spirit of Bob and Elaine.

Glad to know the museum is on sound footing. Congratulations, Jim and all the other people who helped make it happen.
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Postby Diego » 11/24/09 02:42 AM

Hi Jim,
Will look forward to what can now be accomplished and preserved.

Thanks again your work.
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 11/24/09 10:05 AM

A couple friends and I stopped in at the Museum over the Get Together weekend in August. It was a great day. The museum had a number of visitors and Jim was his usual genial host.

Jim really glad to see you still involved with the museum!
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