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Secrets, Revealed: ‘David Copperfield’s History of Magic’ Takes Readers Inside Illusionist’s Museum

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(Homer Liwag)

Over the years, David Copperfield’s name has become synonymous with magic – and deservedly so. The multi-Emmy Award-winning illusionist is constantly inventing and utilizing new technology to develop his latest and greatest illusions, many of which can be seen in his long-running show at MGM Grand.

Given his dedication to the craft, it seems only fitting that Copperfield has his own secret museum in Las Vegas that preserves the history and art of magic. Located in the old Nevada Nuts and Bolts Factory -- coincidentally the same building that stored the Statue of Liberty’s nuts and bolts during its restoration (that was shortly after Copperfield made it vanish) -- the museum is open exclusively to invited guests like scholars and magicians. However, last October, Copperfield discovered a way to let the general public explore the museum: by releasing a book.

Featuring more than 100 never-before-seen photographs, “David Copperfield’s History of Magic” showcases the history of magic through Copperfield’s eyes while enlightening readers on how 28 of the world’s greatest magicians changed the art of illusion forever.

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(Homer Liwag)

“This book is about the rich history of individuals who inspired and changed art, technology and science,” Copperfield said. “We wouldn’t have movies if it wasn’t for a magician. We wouldn’t have smart homes. So much technology that we use today started off as magic effects.”

Over 200 pages, Copperfield takes readers on a journey through what he calls “The Smithsonian for Magic,” profiling magicians like Harry Houdini and Jean-Eug ne Robert-Houdin. Not just a performer but an inventor, Robert-Houdin created (among many other things) the technology used to levitate someone - called “Ethereal Suspension” - which, of course, now resides safely inside the museum. Copperfield said he credits much of his storied career, including being named “The King of Magic” by his peers in The Society of American Magicians, with Robert-Houdin sort of whispering in his ear: “It’s not just the performance - it’s the invention and the performance.”

Even though Copperfield’s jaw-dropping illusions are impressive by themselves, what’s even more astonishing is that out of the thousands of artifacts and books housed in his museum, there’s nothing quite like any of the illusions he performs in his Las Vegas production.

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(Homer Liwag)

“My show, that’s all my own inventions,” Copperfield noted. “When you see a spaceship appear above your head, that doesn’t exist in the entire museum library. When you see a dinosaur 10 feet over the heads of the audience, that doesn’t exist in any of those books. All of those are inventions by my team and I. They’re not an adaptation of anything else, and we’re proud of that.”

With Copperfield working hard to not only keep creating new illusions, but also protecting magic’s past, there’s no doubt he’s inspiring future generations of magicians the way the groundbreaking magicians in “David Copperfield’s History of Magic” inspired him. davidcopperfield.com  

By Heather Turk, Vegas Guide Writer


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