The history and legacy of the circus
At its heyday, the American circus was the largest show-biz industry the world had ever seen. From the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, traveling circuses performed for audiences of up to 14,000 per show, employed as many as 1,600 men and women, and crisscrossed the country on 20,000 miles of railroad in one season alone. The spectacle of death-defying daredevils, strapping super-heroes and scantily-clad starlets, fearless animal trainers, and startling “freaks” gripped the American imagination, outshining theater, vaudeville, comedy, and minstrel shows.
This book sheds fresh light on the circus phenomenon. With photographic gems of early circus performers, as well as original posters, lithographs, sideshow banners and engravings from the 16th–19th centuries illustrating the worldwide roots of the circus, readers are transported to a world of thrill and skill, grit and glamour. Highlights include iconic circus photographs by Mathew Brady, Cornell Capa, Walker Evans, Weegee, and Lisette Model, and little-known circus images by Stanley Kubrick and Charles and Ray Eames.
About the series:
Bibliotheca Universalis - Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe at an unbeatable, democratic price!
Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, the name TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible, open-minded publishing. Bibliotheca Universalis brings together nearly 100 of our all-time favorite titles in a neat new format so you can curate your own affordable library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia.
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About the Authors
Linda Granfield is a widely published author whose book Circus: An Album won six awards, including a place on the “Best of the Best” list by Chicago Public Library. Known for her clear and accessible writing, Granfield has penned many young adult publications as well as adult nonfiction books. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Fred Dahlinger, Jr. from Baraboo, Wisconsin, is a circus historian and author of several books on the American circus.
TASCHEN editor Noel Daniel graduated from Princeton University and studied in Berlin on a Fulbright Scholarship. She earned a master’s degree in London and served as director of a photography art gallery before becoming a book editor. Her TASCHEN books to date include A Treasury of Wintertime Tales (2014), The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (2013), The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2011), Magic 1400s–1950s (2009), and The Circus 1870s–1950s (2008).
"A striking visual record... it portrays energy, scale and drama."