ARTstor has collaborated with The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to share nearly 4,900 images documenting the history of the circus in America. The Circus Museum collection consists of a variety of memorabilia and objects, including performing props, meticulously crafted wardrobe pieces, and historic equipment. The earliest archival materials include 18th- and 19th-century prints of circus related performances, personages, and wardrobe designs. Advertising posters, dating from the mid-19th century to today, illustrate both the changes in circus advertising and business tactics, as well as the evolving art of commercial lithography and off-set printing. Other significant holdings include the collection of circus photography, featuring the works of Frederick W. Glasier and Edward Kelty, among others.
Established in 1948 on the grounds of the Ringling estate, the Circus Museum was the first museum to document the rich history of the American circus. John Ringling (1866 – 1936), circus promoter and the best-known of the five siblings who started the Ringling Bros. Circus in 1884, first arrived in Sarasota, Florida in 1909. To house his personal collection of art, Ringling created The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which officially opened to the public in 1931. ARTstor is also sharing approximately 1,300 images of works in the permanent collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
To view The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: Circus Collection; go to the ARTstor Digital Library, browse by collection, and click “The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: Circus Collection”; or, if you are at your institution or have an ARTstor account, simply follow this link: http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/ringling_circus.
For more detailed information about this collection, visit The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: Circus Collection collection page.
- The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
- Carnegie Arts of the United States
- Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)
- Graphic Design Collection (The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art)
- World War I and II Posters and Postcards (University of Minnesota Libraries)