After one hundred years, Artifice, Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase, a pseudonym for E. S. Andrews, a railway worker from Chicago, remains the cornerstone of card conjuring and, for those who want to profit from play, a post-graduate course circa 1900 on the technique of cheating at cards.
As this exhibition, created by Jason England and Julie Eng, so artfully displays, the book appears perpetually in print, and has spawned numerous variants, here and abroad, and a slew of ancillary discourse, publications and products.
The exhibition was developed in conjunction with a special issue of Magicol (Issue No. 180) devoted to Erdnase with articles by Richard Hatch, Jason England, Hurt McDermott and David Ben.
Everything Erdnase is by no means the definitive word on the subject, and we encourage Erdnase scholars, bibliophiles and casual viewers to add any additional information germane to the exhibition. In particular, we are trying to establish a database, or more accurately, a count of the number of first edition, first printing, copies of the book still in existence.
Finally, we’d like to thank Jason England for sharing his passion for this publication, and his expertise in this subject with us, and Julie Eng for designing and choreographing the exhibition.
− David Ben, Artistic Director