Illusions: The Art of Magic is coming to AGO

The art of Harry Houdini comes to the AGO this winter as part of Illusions: The Art of Magic – a sensational exhibition of rare posters.

Guests will step back in time and be amazed as the Golden Age of Magic comes to life once again in Toronto at the upcoming AGO exhibition, Illusions: The Art of Magic. During that era, death-defying tricks, daring escapes and colourful personas turned performers like The Incomparable Albini and Harry Houdini into world-famous celebrities.

Renowned for their daring escapes, death-defying feats, and incredible powers of levitation and mentalism, magicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the ultimate show business pioneers. Through illustrated advertisements, they showcased themselves and their powers through playbills and wall-sized posters.

The era of magic lives on in the whimsical and fantastical advertisements created for its biggest celebrities, revealing insights into the era’s fascination with spiritualism, the occult, Asia and the changing role of women. Featuring 55 rare posters from the Allan Slaight Collection of the McCord Museum, Montreal, as well as photographs, films, documents, autographs, and objects belonging to the legendary Harry Houdini, Illusions: The Art of Magic reflects fascinations of the era in vivid colour.

The exhibition opens February 22 to May 17, 2020. Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. 

Acquired by the McCord Museum thanks to La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, the Allan Slaight Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of rare magic posters comprising more than 600 posters and more 1,000 documents and rare books. The collection was named in honour of the Canadian businessman and magic enthusiast Allan Slaight.

Illusions: The Art of Magic is a McCord Museum exhibition.

Find out more at

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