Sunday, December 30, 2012


At the beginning of his photographics career, still stuck in obscurity in Budapest, Martin Munkácsi (1896-1963) made these documentary photographs revealing the mechanism behind the stage magic of chopping off a man's head. Chopping off a man's head was never in the repertoire of  any magic shows I ever saw or heard of at any point during my mid-20th century American childhood (where sawing the lady in half was the standard equivalent). Perhaps the vaudeville circuits of Eastern Eruope in the 1920s offered many such theatrical thrills never exported to the squeamish west.