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Enjoy Magic With Warner Perry

an Exhibition

April 2, 2012 - April 30, 2012

curated by
Alexander Johnston

Clarence Warner Perry, Jr. (1921–1997) was a lifelong magic enthusiast and an amateur magician. Perry attended the University of Delaware and in 1943 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation he was employed as a design engineer for the DuPont Corporation where he worked until his retirement in 1985. Throughout his career he continued to pursue his interest in stage magic, an interest which he cultivated during his youth. He designed magic tricks, operated a magic store in Wilmington, and performed as an amateur magician. While enrolled as a student at the University of Delaware, he even used his magic practice to help fund his college education.

The Warner Perry Collection was donated to the University of Delaware by the estate of Warner Perry and consists of Perry’s personal collection of printed books about stage magic and his own personal papers which documents his own magic practice.

Warner Perry

[Miscellaneous Tricks I, undated].

These manuscripts contain unpublished instructions on how to perform Warner Perry’s many magic tricks. Shown here are instructions on how to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Hardin J. Burlingame

How to Read People’s Minds, or, The Mystery of Mind Reading Revealed. Chicago: Max Stein Pub. House, [1904].

This pseudo–scientific work purported to teach gullible readers how to read the minds of others.

Warner Perry

Catalogue of Modern Magic. [Undated].

This catalog of magic tricks and prank devices was custom-assembled for Warner’s Magic Shop in Wilmington, Delaware by pasting selected advertisements into this volume.

The Mysteries of Clairvoyance: Complete Explanation and Instruction, Also Mesmerism and Psychology. Racine, Wisconsin: Johnson Smith & Co., [192–?].

J. (Joseph A.) Karson

Further Tips on Zombie. Colon, Michigan: Abbott Magic Mfg. Co., [1963].

This manual provides step–by–step instructions on how to perform “zombie,” a magic trick in which the performer creates the illusion of a self–levitating sphere. (As part of the build–up to the trick, the sphere is said to be imbued with the supernatural power of the zombies).

Warner Perry

Magic as a Hobby: A Book of Magic Tricks You Can Do. Columbus, Ohio: Nelson Enterprises, 1947.

Warner Perry used this pamphlet to publish a number of his own magic tricks. The reader can learn how to perform illusions such as mind reading with cards, “x–ray eyes,” and a vanishing coin.

Warner Perry

The Magician’s Art: The New Magic. [undated].

“Enjoy Magic With Warner Perry” Photograph.

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