On Saturday July 15th, 2013, a small group of magicians/magic enthusiasts drove to the rolling hills outside Cincinnati, Ohio to make a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the Salon de Magie, one of the world’s preeminent collections of magic history.
Mr. Ken Klosterman, collector extraordinaire, generously opened his home and museum to us four strangers. A subtle trickster in many fashions, his passion for magic and magic history is evident at every turn.
He graced us with a tour of two sites: First to Whitehall in Georgetown, Ohio where he maintains a collection of German magic, gambling-themed items, hundreds of books, and an entire upper floor furnished with a sampling of his beautiful magic memorabilia.
The visit to the Salon de Magie completed our day and exceeded our expectations. Much has been written about this collection and it has been featured in several documentaries and other videos that we have all seen. Yet, to be there in person is quite unparalleled.
Located 83.5 feet below the ground, in a cave discovered on Mr. Klosterman’s property, the space has been transformed into a magic historian’s dream palace. So much of magic’s history is now on display here that it is hard to really take it all in during one visit. One of the most fabled items on display is Robert-Houdin’s Light and Heavy Chest, featured as the “magic trick that prevented a war.” This is but just one of the hundreds, if not thousands of rare treasures that Mr. Klosterman has skillfully collected, maintained, and displayed during his time as a collector.
His collection of posters, playbills, playing cards, thousands of books and innumerable memorabilia and historical effects is simply amazing. The only thing that overshadowed his collection was Mr. Klosterman’s generosity in sharing the entire day with us and in allowing four strangers to enter his home to respite in the beauty and history of the Salon de Magie.
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“In poetically well built museums, formed from the heart’s compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.”
― Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence
(all images can also be seen under the “Photographs” tab at the top of the page)