It is with great sadness that G4G notes the death of Max Maven (December 21, 1950 – November 1, 2022).
We are collecting here some recollections from various members of the G4G community. If you have any anecdotes, memories, or tributes that you would like to share, please email us at email@example.com.
On one occasion I was on a downtime volunteering as a stagehand looking at said stage. He simply sat beside me and before I knew it we were discussing the history of playing cards and going into depth about some of my favourite magic effects both on a mathematical and historical level. I likely learned more in this half hour about the history and theory of magic than going through 10 books on the topic.
Growing up in Princeton, as a very small child playing with his mother on the family lawn, Max remembered a car stopped outside and a disheveled man getting out and pointed at him, excitedly crying out “Baby, baby”. He got back into the car and was driven away.
It was Einstein.
So sad to hear about Max Maven’s passing. Eugene, his best friend, introduced me to Max when I first started taking lessons from him in the early 1980’s. Max was kind and helped me with a few magic pieces I used in my close-up show.
– Lisa Menna
When Max Maven gave a lecture in Japan, he was not happy having his lecture being translated into Japanese. Returning back home he began a serious study of the Japanese language. When Maven next gave a lecture in Japan, he gave the lecture in Japanese. As time went on Maven became more and more involved in Japanese culture.
Now we come to a very important award in magic in Japan. This is the Tenkai award. There is no contest for this award, every year a committee decides if there is a magician who deserves the Tenkai award. Once the committee decides on a candidate for the award, every magician who has won the award must approve the new candidate or the award is not given. One year the committee decides it is time to give the award to someone who is not Japanese. They go to the most important Japanese magician who had won the award and tell him they want to give the Tenkai award to a non-Japanese. He agrees and asks who are they considering. When the committee says their candidate is Max Maven, the previous winner hesitates, and then says that might be okay, but he wasn’t sure Maven isn’t Japanese. When Maven heard of this decision, I am sure he was thrilled with this “doubt.” Any maven would be.
– Norman Gilbreath