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Washington State History Museum

1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA



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Featured Event

Sleight of Hand: Magic and Spiritualism in the Early 20th Century

Magic, Community Event

Sleight of Hand: Magic and Spiritualism in the Early 20th Century, August 4, 2018-January 20, 2019 What is magic? Is it the magician who levitates a woman above the darkened stage of the Pantages Theater? The medium who gazes into the depths of Commencement Bay to awaken the ghosts of lost sailors? The escape artist who dangles himself in a straitjacket from the Seattle Times building, smiling at the crowds below? Magic is all of these things and more. An art of deception and wonder, magic has been practiced throughout human history as a means not only to entertain but also to enlighten. We think of magic in the modern era as a brief amusement, yet in times past, this craft was used in places as disparate as religious ceremonies, public speaking, and warfare. Magic has also served as a platform for the voiceless to speak, as seen in the connections between spiritualism and the suffragette movement. This exhibition showcases the magicians who came through the Pacific Northwest. It tells the intriguing story of how magic has impacted society as a whole, giving the discipline historical significance while entertaining and engaging the public. We're not divulging the secrets of magic (sorry!), but rather seek to delight visitors through sharing lost arts and mysteries. Come and be amazed!


• Sat 8/4/18 - Sun 1/20/19 at 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Other Upcoming Events

Wildfires and Humans in the Western United States: A Brief History Leading to Our Current (Mal) adaptive State


Learn more about wildfires with Maureen C. Kennedy, Assistant Professor in Quantitative Fire at University of Washington Tacoma. She’ll talk about why wildfires are an important component of natural systems. She will overview wildfire and human interactions in the western states and talk about the current state of forest management. We will contemplate a possible future where human beings learn how to coexist with wildfire.


• Thu 10/18/18 at 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Third Thursday

Community Event

Special exhibitions on view: Collections Selections: Jacob Lawrence, Two Centuries of Glass, Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse, and Sleight of Hand: Magic and Spiritualism in the Twentieth Century. The new museum store, The Goods at the Museum, will be open too. Third Thursday is generously supported in part by Columbia Bank.


• Thu 10/18/18 at 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM