From our exhibition, Heyday, comes this 18"x24" poster sporting the joyful image of clown Pete Mardo. Photographed by Frederick W. Glasier (1866-1950) in 1923, the image of this laughing clown still captures the fun and entertainment of the circus.
At the turn of the 20th century in America, the circus was an unmatched social spectacle. Large circus companies were like mobile cities, requiring an enormous staff to install and break down operations every few days. At their peak, circus companies toured more than 150 cities and towns each year, playing to more than two million people over a seven month season. This note card set highlights the rediscovered work of Frederick W. Glasier, who photographed the circus and served as the official photographer for the Barnum & Bailey Circus on-and-off for three decades. Glasier’s unrestricted access to both grand performances and backstage life allowed him to explore the public and private personalities of some of the greatest entertainers of the era.