At the turn of the 20th century, the circus was the most popular form of entertainment in the United States, and New York City was the hub of circus-related activity. The first circus in New York opened in 1793, and the circus business' subsequent growth paralleled the city's rise as a cultural capital. Featuring superb archival photography, this book documents a wide variety of ephemera, images, and artefacts relating to the history of the circus in New York City, from the seminal equestrian displays of the 18th century to the iconic American railroad circus advertisements of the late 19th century. An essay by Matthew Wittmann offers a thorough history of the circus in New York City, including stories of P. T. Barnum's (1810-1891) triumphant entry into the circus business, the famous dwarf General Tom Thumb, and Jumbo, the African elephant that arrived in New York Harbour in 1882 and touched off a craze known as "Jumbomania". The histories of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the WPA Circus of the Great Depression, and the Big Apple Circus are testaments to the enduring popularity of this American past time. Catalogue entries about a select group of exhibition objects further elucidate the distinct role of New York City in the emergence and development of the circus in the United States.
Series: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture S.
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 30th October 2012
Dimensions (cm): 26.4 x 21.0 x 2.098
Weight (kg): 0.666