Broken Wand

Memorial LISTINGS For Deceased MemberS of The I.B.M.


22 Oct

Passing of Past International President - Ken Klosterman

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: SIMONE MARRON

The I.B.M. is saddened to announce the passing of Past International President Ken Klosterman at his home on October 21, 2020

The following is reposted with kind permission from Phil Schwartz’s post in the Thayer Forum on the Thayer Magic website.

Ken Klosterman (1933-2020)
One of magic's greatest friends and a momentous figure in magic collecting died at his home yesterday.
Introduced by his uncle to magic at the age of 9, Ken became a professional magician and performed along with his wife Judy until his obligations to Klosterman Baking Company became too great. 

Ken on stage (Photo posted on Thayer Magic by Ken)

Almost by accident, Ken became a serious magic collector. Here’s the story in his own words: (originally posted elsewhere on the Thayer Magic site)
“Charlie Kalish and I first met at a magic collectors’ meeting in the early 70's. I will never forget meeting Charlie. 
“I was on business to try to sell some bread to a chain coming into Cincinnati. I went to Ireland Magic Company to see if there was anything happening. I walked in and met a John Henry Grossman and a Robert Lund for the first time. (Later John Henry along with Charlie and John Braun became my mentors for collecting magic.) They asked if I was up here for the magic collectors. I did not know they were having a magic collectors meeting. At the counter of this magic company, now Magic Inc., I asked, “How do you become a collector?”
“Mr. Lund said ‘collect everything pertaining to magic and if you run out of room, store it under you bed.’ The Doctor I think gave me little better advice. ‘buy good things now for your act now, and in years to come they will be collectable.’"
Charlie Kalish later directed Ken to the vast magic collection housed at Cypress Gardens, Florida. Ken acquired it.
After that, he continued amassing one of the largest magic collections in the world. He displayed much of it in the lower level of his Loveland, Ohio farm. Called Langsem Farm, it was founded by the Klosterman’s in 1987 and consists of over 250 acres.


Ken hosted three international collectors’ events in Cincinnati which included tours of his collection. One event was the Magic Collectors’ Association in 1993 where Ken hired Del Ray to entertain poolside as we waited for our turns to tour. Two more (unaffiliated) events were called the Gathering of Vultures in 2015 and 2018. 


Del Ray entertaining poolside. (Photo by Phil Schwartz)


By the time of the second Gathering of Vultures, there were two sites to tour. First was the “mine shaft” (aka basement) of the Langsem house called the Salon De Magie. The second was Whitehall Mansion & Thompson Mill in Georgetown, Ohio where Ken maintained a collection of illusions, German magic, gambling-themed items, hundreds of books, and an entire upper floor furnished with a sampling of his beautiful magic memorabilia.
One of Ken’s most cherished items was Robert-Houdin’s Light and Heavy Chest, featured as the “magic trick that prevented a war.”  The entire Klosterman collection has been carefully cataloged and displayed.
In 2006, Ken and Gabe Fajuri published The Salon De Magie. He authored articles in Apocalypse, The Linking Ring, and other magic publications.
Ken was 1995-1996 president of the I.B.M., and a life member of the SAM.

Ken’s wife of 58 years, Judy, passed in 2016. He is survived by daughters, Kim Klosterman and Jayme Klosterman; son, Kenneth "Chip" Klosterman, Jr. and grandchildren Katie, Ellen and Olivia. 


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