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Representing the Estate of Merton Clivette


Contact: Michael MacBride
618-534-7236 (cell)

The Great Clivette, Man of Mystery’s Biography to be Released June 8, 2023
Merton Clivette once dominated the 1920s and 1930s art world; ruled the Orpheum Circuit as a magician,
shadowgraphist, mindreader, and acrobat; performed in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show; worked with
Houdini and PT Barnum; inspired Mark Twain; and taught Sir Arthur Conan Doyle how to be a medium.
But, after his death in 1931, he essentially disappeared from the history books.
The new biography by Michael David MacBride—The Great Clivette: Renaissance Man, Artist, Magician,
Acrobat, Shadowgraphist, Mindreader, and so much more—seeks to rectify that.
MacBride collaborated with the Clivette Estate and utilized their archives to write a book as if from
Clivette’s own hand. In keeping with Clivette’s journals, letters, and books he wrote during his lifetime,
the new book—The Great Clivette—tells the full story of Clivette’s life for the first time.
To celebrate, the Clivette Estate will be raffling off an original Clivette painting to one lucky winner. Details
are on the website (
The Great Clivette will be available in paperback (black and white) and hardcover (full color), featuring
many photographs, posters, and works of art being seen for the first time in nearly one hundred years.
Books will be available at in-person events, through the webpage (, Fine
Print Bookshop (, at additional bookstore partners still to be finalized, and
everywhere online.
• Hardcover (full color): 979-8-9879393-1-4 ($39.95)
• Paperback (black and white): 979-8-9879393-0-7 ($19.95)
• Library of Congress Number: 2023904519
MacBride will be appearing on podcasts and in-person. The first event will be held virtually with the
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation ( on June 8
(more information to come), with more events to follow.
About the author: Originally from Michigan, Michael MacBride now calls Minnesota home. Michael
received his PhD in 19th century American and 18th century British Literature, but his true focus was
1870-1930. He studied Mark Twain and the period of American history from 1780-1930, and sought out
the odd and unusual moments of history. Michael began his college career as an art student, then art
history major and has continued to have a love for art and artists. For fun, Michael reads newspapers from
100 years ago--a habit he began in 2017 (which is how he initially became aware of Clivette).


“The spiritual truth of the moving form is a changing mass of light, reflection, vibrating color – and life.  Now when a form is moving – like a fish, for example – you cannot give the vibration of light on that form by adhering to a line to produce the fish.”

Merton Clivette

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