This poster is an imposter – and it tells an intriguing story. In 1955, during the Golden Jubilee, the International Brotherhood of Magicians sent a rare original poster to The Magic Circle Museum. This poster was meant to commemorate the election of American Anna Eva Fay as the first Honorary Lady Associate of The Magic Circle back in 1913. However, there was a mix-up, as the poster featured Anna Eva Fay’s daughter-in-law, Eva Fay (formerly Eva Norman), not Anna Eva Fay herself, who was a renowned medium and magician.
The confusion arose because Eva Fay had married Anna Eva Fay’s son, John. John Fay taught his new wife the same act his mother had performed. Within a few weeks, both Eva Fay and John were on stage, directly competing with his mother. Unlike staged conflicts in show business, this feud was real. John declared that it was time for his mother to retire and let the new generation take over.
Tragically, on December 21st, 1908, John Fay was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. His mother Anna Eva grieved for him and felt deeply betrayed for the rest of her life. Eva Fay continued performing after her husband’s death, but she never reached the same level of fame and success that her mother-in-law had achieved. Anna Eva and Eva Fay never reconciled.