Ricky Jay
June 26, 1946 to November 24, 2018

You can learn more about Ricky Jay's life at Wikipedia: Ricky Jay

New York Times Article:
The Curious, Astounding Collection of the Magician Ricky Jay

Jill Krementz Photo Journal:
The Magical Collection of Ricky Jay

This archive is proudly brought to you by Bill Elgin. If you have any questions, I can be reached at: info@billelgin.com

Celebrations of Curious Characters


“A beautiful book…A delicious read…The improbable matter and elegant manner of the
writing put me in mind of Borges.” Jay lives to dumbfound like any magician, only with a
passion that extends backward in time and outward into remote regions of the recherché.
—Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

The magician Ricky Jay, considered by many the greatest sleight-of-hand artist alive,
is also a scholar, a historian, a collector of curiosities. Master of a prose style that qualifies
him as perhaps the last of the great 19th-century authors... his most enduring interest is
a fellow polymath, an 18th-century German named Matthias Buchinger.
—Charles McGrath, The New York Times

This impeccably designed book …is truly awe inspiring.
—Jim Ruland, The Los Angeles Times

A much-needed introduction to a valuable, lost wunderkammer. But Jay’s work
is also a polymathic replica of the zeitgeist of languages and wonders
in which Buchinger lived and worked.
—Erik Morse, The Paris Review

Matthias Buchinger must have been some kind of genius.
—Ken Johnson, The New York Times

In his elegant new book, “Matthias Buchinger: ‘The Greatest German Living,” Ricky Jay,
a magician, actor, and writer, explores Buchinger’s life through written testimony,
through stories and memories, as well as through the beautifully rendered images
of Buchinger’s intricate work.
—Beverly Beckham, The Boston Globe

An odd poetry surrounds details of Buchinger’s life, evoked with a light touch in Jay’s
beguiling “biographical compendium full of surprises and synchronicity.”
—Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books

A wryly agile, affectionate, and deeply tantalizing inquiry into the obscure legacy
of an almost unimaginable subject... Amply and handsomely illustrated.
—Howard Hampton, Bookforum

[A] sumptuous, scholarly, witty new book…Ricky Jay’s prose sparkles with humor and passion.
—Teller, The New York Times Book Review

It’s a study of both a fascinating 18th century polymath and a fascinating 21st century
polymath who loves him… Jay, for all his background in deception, has been exacting
in his pursuit of the truth, and he has written about Buchinger with great empathy and
insight, and absolutely no sentimentality. He understands that some novelties are
worth preserving. Many magicians can make people vanish, in other words,
but here is one who can bring a man back from the dead.
—Christian Donlan, The New Statesman

Line Break

Ricky Jay appears in Justin Lernerís The Automatic Hate
Now available on DVD and at iTunes and Amazon digital

Pitch perfect…A rare film

It’s a feast of rich and nuanced performances, although special note should be made of Ricky
Jay’s incredible turn as a (maybe?) deposed patriarch. The Automatic Hate is a twisty and
twitchy dark comedy that will make you run home and double-check your family tree.
Mill Valley Film Festival

By far, one of the highlights is Ricky Jay in the role of Joshua, Alexis’ father and patriarch
of one half of the family. Joshua is an intense, intimidating character, and Jay throws everything
he has into a stellar performance. It’s a role you might not immediately picture an
actor like Jay in, but one that he absolutely owns.
Ain’t It Cool News


Line Break

Secrets of the Magus
from the New Yorker Magazine
by Mark Singer

ding View Article in HTML format


The web-site of Ricky Jay is written by Ricky Jay and friends and updated frequently by the author. ¶
Written and illustrative material, © Ricky Jay, 2011-2016. ¶ 
All images are from the private collection of the author. ¶
Any subsequent use of text or image is permissible only with the written express permission of Mr. Jay.