The Magic Lantern Society  

New Light on Old Media  

Welcome to Issue 17 of New Light on Old Media
Back in the Summer lanternist Jeremy Brooker and I worked with UK artist Ben Judd and a group of musicians and actors on a performance piece which was staged at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.  Stills from the production - Apart we are together have recently been posted on Ben's site. All of the effects shown were created using Victorian/Edwardian chromatropes and less obvious vintage lantern slide images.  The following links will lead you to some other lantern related projects : A deep and tenebrous unity (2015) and Concerning the difference between the delights of pleasure and true happiness (2010).

If you woud like to consider joining the Magic Lantern Society you will find further details below.


Mervyn Heard, Editor



"AtmosFX - Digital Decorating for every occasion" - recently released some splendid advice and information on how to scare the bejasus out of your friends and family by perpetrating a ghost effect in a doorway. You can find out how here on their website.

AtmosFX even sell a revolutionary new screen material (AtmosGEAR) specifically designed for the creation of ghostly hollogram-like illusions for dinner parties and other evening hauntertainments. This item may be too late for Halloween, but there's always Christmas when granny and grandad come to stay.


This is Goya!


For some time now there has been speculation among academics concerning the famous "black paintings" of the Spanish artist Francisco Goya which were produced between 1820 and 1824. Some feel that they may have been influenced by the fantasmagorie performances of E G Robertson which took place in Madrid in 1821. This new book by Wendy Bird and Sarah Maycock examines, in part, this relationship between the magic lantern and Goya's work. 
The Amazon link is here, with some glimpses of the content.

Earlier this year there was an exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London (Goya: the Witches and Old Women Album). You can still find some residual information on that exhibition here.  I am happy to report that there is also now a new exhibition of Goya's work. Goya's Portraits can be seen at the National Gallery . The exhibition runs until 10 January 2016

"The sleep of reason produces monsters" Francisco Goya (c.1797)


The Complete Exhibitionist


Just to let you know that the Magic Lantern Society has copies of the DVD : From the Magic Lantern to the Movies on special offer.  Produced in 2010 it offers a complete run of the original Optical Magic Lantern Journal (1889-1903) and can be yours for just £24.50.
This deal is available to both members and non-members.
Follow this link to the MLS shop for full order details


Mr Shadbolt's Aerial Views


On 14th October an historic collection of lantern slides went on sale at the Dominic Winter auction rooms in Cirencester, England. This was a complete lecture originally produced and presented by pioneering balloonist and photographer Cecil Victor Shadbolt.  The collection comprised 76 slides, including 37 hand-painted images charting the history of ballooning. However, what made this sale item unique were the various aerial images of London taken by Shadbolt during the ten year period from 1882 - 92.
A typical slide is shown above offering a view of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.

Various references to this collection can be found online, but the most innovative array can be found on the Daily Mail site, where you will find a sliding device which enables you to view the original slide and the same scene today.
The BBC News site offers a few more images and more information

The collection was sold for c. £7,200 to an unknown buyer.

This lantern image from the collection shows Shadbolt (left) and his companion Captain William Dale. Both men were killed in a ballooning accident in 1892.


The Zoetrope All Sewn Up



In the past this e-letter has featured a number of zoetropic devices, including some made of cake.
But never an "embroidered zoetrope."
The plaything featured above was created by Elliot Schultz at the Australian National University for his Digital Arts Major and was displayed with others on a row of simple record-player turntables.
First go to his site for some background information and then to Behance for a full appreciation of his nimble needlework.


The Ghost of Robinson Crusoe


Visitors to the 14th Compiègne Film Festival in France (3-15 November) will have a rare chance to see a unique magic lantern show presented by Laurent Mannoni, the director of the Cinémathèque Française, and co-presenter Laure Parchomenko.

The performance - The Ghost of Robinson Crusoe - will take place at the Imperial Theatre on November 13 with the aid of the actor Nathan Willcocks, harpist Lienor Maha and sound effects artist Zak Mahmoud.  Full details are on the
Film Festival site.



 More About the

Magic Lantern Society

If you have an interest in research or performance involving the magic lantern or other forms of vintage visual media The Magic Lantern Society publishes a regular quarterly printed journal.  Members also meet on a regular basis in the UK and at other locations throughout Europe. Every four years we hold a major international convention in the UK.

For further information about the Society go to  

Our sister organisation The Magic Lantern Society of the US and Canada is here:




New Light on Old Media Issue 17, November 2015
Copyright © 2015 The Magic Lantern Society, All rights reserved.

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