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Academy of Magical Arts

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Academy of Magical Arts is a non-profit social order devoted to the advancement of magic. Its clubhouse is the famed Magic Castle, one of the most unique private clubs in the world.

The AMA was started in April 1952 by William W. Larsen, Sr., whom subscribers to his magazine Genii became instant members. But the organization faded away when Bill Larsen Sr. passed away at the age of 48 in 1955.[1]

In 1961, when Bill Larsen Sr.'s younger son, Milt Larsen, started creating the Magic Castle there was no club. He convinced his brother Bill Larsen Jr. that it would be a good time to resurrect the Academy of Magical Arts. The first members were again Genii subscribers. Bill was Chairman and the original Board of Directors was composed of Harry Mendoza, Frederick Shields, George Boston, Alvin Jansen and Norman Carroll (who died before the club went into operation).

There are several types of membership:


There is an annual Academy of Magical Arts Award Show and Banquet. The highest award given is the Masters Fellowship.


The following are the list published in the AMA program each year.

Masters Fellowship

(Date presented)

Lifetime Achievement Fellowship

Magician of the Year

Performing Fellowship

Creative Fellowship

Literary Fellowship

Special Fellowship

Award of Merit

Comedy Magician of the Year

Bar Magician of the Year

Stage Magician of the Year

Close-Up Magician of the Year

Parlour Magician of the Year

Lecturer of the Year

Junior Achievement Award

  • 1976 Dirk Arthur
  • 1977 Robbie Millman
  • 1978 Geofrey Williams
  • 1979 Mark Kalin
  • 1980 Mark van Buren; The Magic Company (Bob Piskens, Jim Heckens, Yvonne Pickens,Rita Nessett)
  • 1981 Scott Cervine; Michael Weber
  • 1982 Ed Alonzo; Larry Clark; Bill Goodwin
  • 1984 Ray Kosby; Danny Scott
  • 1985 Scott Tokar
  • 1986 David Doyle
  • 1989 Mark Matsumoto; Jason Alexander
  • 1990 Steve Barnes
  • 1992 Michael Battistoni
  • 1995 Chris Gongora
  • 1996 Mindy Edberg; Jason Neistat; Matt Marcy
  • 1997 Wesley Edberg
  • 1998 Danny Cole; Thomas Meier; Bryan Stoops
  • 1999 James Holguin
  • 2000 Scott Berry; Joseph Tran
  • 2001 Jason Latimer
  • 2002 David Stryker
  • 2003 Joel Ward; Matthew Grunwald; Jonathon Dabach
  • 2004 Tony Elias
  • 2005 Jessica Phillips


  1. Genii 1952 April
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