The Lilly Library summer exhibition, “Spiritualists, Sorcerers, and Stage Magicians: Magic and the Supernatural at the Lilly Library,” offers a view of how ideas of the occult, the unseen, and the supernatural have persisted and transformed throughout history, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Indeed, if popular entertainment is any indication, it seems evident that our interest in ghosts, ghost-hunters, witches, and devils has never really abated, despite the rationalism and disenchantment of the modern age.
Highlights of the Lilly exhibition include stories of the disappearing Professor De La Mano, Boston spiritualist Mina Crandon—aka "Margery"—and her ectoplasmic performances, and self-styled black magician Aleister Crowley, the "Wickedest Man in the World." Visitors will also find arresting illustrations of witches from 17th-century manuals for witch hunters, photographs of ghosts from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book on spirit photography, and instructions for debunking spiritualist mediums in Houdini’s famous A Magician Among the Spirits.
The exhibition runs through August 30, 2014. The Lilly Library is regularly open during the summer Monday-Thursday 9-6, Friday 9-5, and on Saturdays from 9-1 PM; http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/ or 812-855-2452