Artstor is collaborating with The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to share approximately 4,800 images documenting the history of the circus in America. The Circus Museum collection includes a variety of memorabilia and objects, ranging from 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 are the collection of circus photography, including the works of Frederick W. Glasier and Edward Kelty.

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 most well-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 was 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.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: Circus Collection page.

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