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BornMerton Clivettae
June 11, 1868
Portage City, Wisconsin
DiedMay 8, 1931 (age 62)

Clivette (June 11, 1868 - May 8, 1931), born Merton Clivettae in Portage City, Wisconsin, was a well known juggler, magician, tight rope walker and shadowgraphist who performed with his wife ("The Veiled Prophetess") across America and Europe.


Before appearing on the stage as a juggler, unicyclist, and tambourine spinner, he was a reporter in San Francisco. It was said he was the foremost performer of Shadowgraphy of this time, which he did throughout his career.

As a magician, he was billed as "The Great Clivette" and "The Man in Black". Clivette gave command performances for the late Queen Victoria and other crowned heads in Europe and appeared on many vaudeville stages.

When Clivette died he was described as a "magician, artist writer, lecturer and dabbler in the occult and became known as 'the Father of Greenwich Village.'" It was reported that he left an estate of over $2 million to wife, Kate.

He was also a painter and a posthumous exhibition of the paintings were held in the Art Centre in New York a few years after his death.



  • Clivette ("The Man in Black"), Confessions of a Palmist (1908)
  • Cafe Cackle from Dumps to Delmonico's (1909)