The lovely ladies of the ring were prime material for advertising with posters illustrating their incredible performances, their classic beauty, and the evolving social construction of femininity in American society.
The Ringling and all of it's venues are closed today. Happy Holidays!
The Ringling and all of it's venues are closed today. Happy New Year!
Through circus posters, explore the changing nature of commercial printing from wood block to the modern offset lithography process.
Paul Binder took an unconventional route to the circus, at least by circus standards. Educated at Dartmouth and Columbia, he eventually made his way to San Francisco, the breeding ground of the counter culture movement in the sixties.
In 1944, at the age of 14, Ward Hall literally ran away with the circus and has never looked back. In a career that spans 70 years and counting, Ward has earned the title of King of the Sideshow.
Considered by the circus community to be one of the Royal Family of the Circus, the Cristianis' performance history dates back to the 1840's Italy. Hear Victoria Cristiani Rossi talk about both her personal and public life as described in ther book, Spangles, Elephants, Violets and Me: The Circus Inside Out.
The printed advertising that was the dominant media for circuses of the 19th and early 20th centuries offers a fascinating glimpse at how American attitudes slowly evolved, becoming increasingly informed and interested in the cultures and experiences of people from around the globe.