Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice - Art Spiegelman and Ricky Jay in Conversation: Web Exclusive

Cartoonist and author Art Spiegelman (Maus, In the Shadow of No Towers) and sleight-of-hand magician Ricky Jay spoke in conversation at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on the occasion of the exhibition Extraordinary Exhibitions, featuring over 80 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century ephemeral advertising sheets known as broadsides, from Ricky Jay’s own collection. The magical attractions promoted in these broadsides include unusually talented animals and insects; gadgets that defy science; and conjurers with strange talents. The event Hammer Conversation with Ricky Jay and Art Spiegelman took place November 17, 2007.

Learn more about Jay’s scholarship and fascination with history in American Masters – Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice, airing Friday, January 23 at 9 pm on PBS (check local listings).

Hammer Conversation with Ricky Jay and Art Spiegelman, 11/17/2007, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. This web-exclusive video is produced by Molly Bernstein & Alan Edelstein, Hopscotch Films.

Selections from Ricky Jay’s Broadside Collection


Isaac Fawkes, “Dexterity of Hand,” c. 1729. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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Mathew Buchinger self portrait, c.1724. Collection of Ricky Jay

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Ricky Jay is fascinated by the German conjurer Mathew Buchinger (1674–1739) who was 29 inches tall, did not have arms or legs, and was also a musician and calligrapher. “He’s my flat-out favorite,” says Jay. “I’ve been collecting material on him for more than 30 years.”

Mr. Williams, Conjurer from Barbados, c. 1750. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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Daniel Wildman, Equestrian Apiarist, c. 1770. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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The First Elephant in America, 1797. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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Toby the Sapient Pig, c. 1830. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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Professor Faber’s Euphonia, c. 1846. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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J.H. Anderson, “The Wizard of the North.” 1857. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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Bertolotto’s Industrious Fleas, c. 1876. Collection of Ricky Jay.

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American Masters – Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice, airing Friday, January 23 at 9 pm on PBS (check local listings).