Monday, December 15, 2014

the ladies of the ring

when I was a little girl, my grandfather took us (my sister and I) to the circus every year. I don't remember much about it except that there was a lot of stuff happening while we were there and that I got a double balloon with a clear outside and a blue "mickey-style" head inside the clear exterior balloon.  I was easily amused in those days I guess- LOL...

however, despite not having been to the circus for many decades (with one single exception when a friend's daughter was young enough to enjoy it without irony or cynicism) I still am fascinated by the reality of the circus - the logistics, the hype, the personalities, etc...

my beloved grandfather (beloved by all, not just by my sister and me) was in marketing and PR... he was artistic and had a great love for art in all its forms and all its levels.  he was the one who would spend hours with us in the art museum and discuss various artists with us- seeking our opinions and thoughts as if every child of single digit age should be consulted on these matters.  in short- my grandfather did not take himself too seriously but took us very seriously. I think this might be the perfect formula for being a grandparent.

when I read recently that the Circus Museum was featuring an exhibit called "The Ladies of the Ring" I thought it might be a good time to revisit some part of my youth...

From the materials promoting the exhibit:
From flying through the air to being suspended high above the ring by nothing but the strength of their jaws and from catapulting from a teeter board to shooting out of a cannon, women have participated in every circus act imaginable. The lovely ladies of the ring were prime material for advertising with posters illustrating their incredible performances, their classic beauty, and the evolving social construction of femininity in American society.

so off I went yesterday - on a glorious sunny, blue sky, Sunday afternoon to see the exhibit.  And ladies I did see-

(detail from above)

look closely- at this daring feat! described as a "fearless frolic with fate"

the detailed description- LOL

in one of the kid-centric areas I found this sign which was so well illustrated by the verbiage on the posters above- LOL

this was the magnetic board where you could put your own Headlines of Hyperbole!-

a section of the touted mural in the entrance to the Circus Museum- called the "greatest show on earth"-

the original meaning of the phrase bandwagon - illustrated -

notice the kitty on this performer's dress-

but the main attraction in this building was definitely the model circus- the 3,800 square foot Howard Bros. Circus Model, a 44,000-piece re-creation of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus combined shows from 1919-1938

here are just a few photos of this amazing model- which really gives the sense of the incredible size and importance of the circus in the era between the wars-

a worthy foray into the circus museum- for the exhibit - and for me a nice way to bring back fond memories of my "Pop Pop" -

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