The Circus 1870s – 1950s


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The Circus 1870s – 1950s

Taschen’s Bibliotheca Universalis edition.

In its heyday, the American circus was the largest showbiz industry the world had ever seen.

From the mid-1800’s to mid-1900’s, traveling circuses performed for audiences of up to 14,000 per show, employed as many as 1,600 men and women, and crisscrossed the USA 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 theatre, 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, sideshow banners and engravings from the 16th-19th centuries illustrating the worldwide roots of the circus, readers are transported to a world of thrill, 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.

Publisher:  Taschen.  2016.

Hardcover.  888 pages

Taschen is an official Carbon Neutral publisher. Each and every Taschen book plants a seed in the Instituto Terra reforestation program in Minas Gerais, Brazil.