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- Animals (2)
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- Horses (2)
- Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows (2)
- Anglo-Indians (1)
- Circus spectacles (1)
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- Rāpti River (1)
- Sells-Floto Circus (1)
- Wagons (1)
- Watercolors (1)
Back Door Scene at the American Circus
In the American circus, the area directly behind the circus tent or arena where performers prepared for and staged their entrances through the “back door” came to be known as the “backyard.” This glass-plate negative from 1928 reveals a typical backyard scene of an American circus just prior to performance of the spectacular production number. The spectacle, or “spec,” was a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able ...
Free Street Parade of the Sells-Floto Circus
This colorful lithograph advertises the upcoming street parade of the Sells-Floto Circus, promoting ticket sales to the local residents for the twice-a-day shows. The artwork captures the grandeur of the American circus parade in the 1920s. The parade is led by a rider wearing an 18th-century costume and carrying a circus banner. Behind the rider is a group of mounted horsemen, elephants in costumes worn in big production number during the show (“spec costuming”), a band, and a number of circus wagons. Several of the elephants and wagons promote the ...
Pay Off of Spec—the Good Old Times
In the American circus, the spectacle, or “spec,” developed as a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able to costume. Traced back to the earliest circuses in America, the spec was originally a lavish performance of literary or historical tales intended to entertain and edify the audience. The costumes created for specs were often exotic, representing cultures from all corners of the globe. The costumes also could be ...
Nepal - "First Halting Place on the River Raptee”
This watercolor is from a collection of 18 paintings of Indian subjects by William Tayler (1808–92) dating from around 1842–45. Tayler was a civil servant of the East India Company who lived in India from 1829 until 1867. He became commissioner of Patna in 1855 and in 1857 was involved in the suppression of the Sepoy Rebellion. His measures against the local people were regarded as excessively harsh by his superiors, and he was suspended and given an appointment of lower rank. An enthusiastic amateur artist, Tayler sketched ...