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Art of Magic Stamps To Be Released


It appears that another United States Federal Agency is recognizing Magic as an Art. On Dec. 12, 2017, the U.S. Postal Service revealed the 21 subjects it will feature on U.S. stamps in the coming year. Musicians John Lennon and Lena Horne, television host Fred Rogers and astronaut Sally Ride and The Art Of Magic will all be honored on United States stamps in 2018. The stamp designs provided with the announcement are preliminary and subject to change, according to the USPS. No issue dates or artist credits were offered.

According to the press release, a pane of 20 stamps in five designs will celebrate the art of magic with digital illustrations of “five classic tricks magicians use to amaze and delight audiences: a rabbit in a hat (production), a fortune teller using a crystal ball (prediction), a woman floating in the air (levitation), an empty bird cage (vanishing), and a bird emerging from a flower (transformation).” Each stamp design includes the inscription, “The Art of Magic.”

In 2002 The United States Post Office released another magic themed stamp when it released the Harry Houdini Stamp. Coincidentally, this coincideed with the 100th Anniversary of The Society of American Magicians. That stamp was a 37¢ stamp while these new stamps will be Forever Stamps.

The Society of American Magicians was founded on May 10, 1902 with the goal to “elevate and advance The Art of Magic”. It was lofty goal, considering the fact that most people in the United States saw magic as a novelty, a hobby or at best a craft. One of the ways that magic can be recognized as an art is through a Congressional Proclamation. Congressman Pete Sessions recognized The Art of Magic on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 28, 2013. This recognition can be found in the Congressional Record. He followed that by introducing a resolution, H.R. 642 in 2016. That bill is still in committee. Once that Bill passes the house it goes to the Senate and finally to the President to sign.

If we incorporate the logic to prove that Santa was real in the classic 1947 film “Miracle on 34th Street”, if the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes that magic is an art and in fact, proclaims it on their stamps, then magic is indeed an art.

This action by the USPS is being touted by politicians and magicians alike in Tweets and other social Media posts. Still, Congress needs to finish the job and pass Resolution 642. This resolution will recognize magic as a National Treasure and can help us explore how to protect our intellectual property from theft and gratuitous exposure. Magicians will apply for arts grants and not be turned down because magic isn’t considered an art.

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