Conjuring And Magicana At The Rock

hocus pocus A small exhibit of lovely old books on magic, hocus pocus, and the art of legerdemain are now on display through March at the Rockefeller Library at Brown University. One book with the unwieldy title “Hocus Pocus: or, A Rich Cabinet of Legerdemain Curiosities, Natural and Artificial Conclusions” dates back to 1671.

And wall text tells of an Englishman, Reginald Scot, who in 1584  — predating the Amazing Randi by four centuries — wrote “the first work devoted to exposing the production of magical illusions enacted by jugglers, conjurers and other performers of what he called ‘the deceitful arts.'”

The exhibit features magic books, manuscripts, and ephemera collected by H. Adrian Smith, class of 1930, who earned his way through Brown as a performing magician.

The general public can view the exhibit by checking in at the service desk during regular library hours. The exhibit is across the room opposite the desk.

Free, exhibit runs through March, Rockefeller Library, Brown University, 10 Prospect Street

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