In the visual iconography of printed advertising no single image brings to mind a circus as quickly as that of the clown. From its earliest roots in Europe, the circus has been defined by a core group of performers; especially equestrians, acrobats, and clowns. While the styles of clowns have evolved since the circus debuted, the role of the clown as a visual symbol of the circus is still strong. On view in the Tibbals Learning Center’s Poster Gallery, this exhibition examines the use of the clown image in circus advertising from the 1850's to present day.
Image citation: Erie Lithographing & Printing Co. Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus Clown, circa 1930