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Alongside Phantasmogoria shows, and conjuring theatre, the public in the 18th and early century could be entertained and thrilled by the spectacle of optical shows performed by ‘Natural philosophers’; the title given to the scientific showman and performers who exhibited the wonders of the physical universe and nature. These public spectacles performed at fares, or in coffee houses were for the most part slightly deceptive to outright fraudulent in their claims. Despite scientific advances during the anti superstitious ‘Age of Enlightenment’ this handbill could still appeal to the vestiges of superstition and magic, while equally proclaiming the spectacle of scientific or natural philosophical enquiry. The text is from an original handbill, while the illustration is an ofgraveconcern steampunk original.

The Powers of the Imagination. 1797

  • Recreation of titlepage with added historical elements. Printed on handmade paper resembling the look and feel of paper from the period the work was produced (8.5" x 11"), or textured watercolour paper (5"x7"). Printed with archival inks, and packaged in protective sheet and cardboard backing.


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