Caricature of the Edwardian magician Carl Hertz, or Leib Morgenstern (1859-1924), from an album of caricatures drawn by George Cooke. January 1905.
Height: 25 cm, Width: 18 cm
This caricature is of the American Jewish magician Carl Hertz, born Leib Morgenstern in San Francisco in 1859. He came to London in 1884 and performed the Vanishing Lady trick soon after its introduction in Paris by Bautier de Kolta. The caricature comes from the first of albums owned by the Theatre Museum compiled by the graphic artist George Cooke, and features music hall performers working in the early 20th century. The album is dated 1903-4-5.
Pen, ink and wash caricature on pink paper of Carl Hertz, full-length, dressed in black evening dress and holding a large clock face in his left hand. He is crushing a red devil on the ground under his right foot.
This caricature is of Carl Hertz, or Leib Morgenstern, when he was performing at the Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, during the week of 9 January 1905. He was billed as ‘The Famous Carl Hertz. In his gigantic show of Marvellous Illusions and Surprises. The most elaborate and sensational conjuring show ever presented. Assisted by Mlle. Dalton’. His acts at Hanley included making a birdcage and canary disappear and discovering the canary in the pocket of an audience member. He also performed there the ‘mystifying movements of a clock dial, which stops at any time spectators may desire, and records the numbers of a throw of a dice before the dice have actually been used’. This is one of the many superb caricatures of Edwardian music hall performers that were drawn by the artist George Cooke when he was based at the Grand Theatre, Hanley. He compiled them in a series of albums.
Born in San Francisco in 1859, Hertz worked in the USA before coming to Great Britain in 1884. Here he was one of the first to perform the Vanishing Lady trick, which had been introduced in Paris by Bautier de Kolta. Hertz was a success in Europe and Australia, where in 1896 he amazed audiences by incorporating film, or ‘animated magic and motion’, in his act. When he appeared at the Holborn Empire in 1907 he was billed as ‘the World-Famous Illusionist’. He died in 1924.