Circus World Museum poster collection, 1841-[ongoing]

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  • available only with permission of the given circus.


  • The Circus World Museum actively collects domestic and foreign circus and wild west posters from a variety of sources and has also collected a number of museum, menagerie, carnival, and fair posters. The collection contains many examples from the Adam Forepaugh Circus, Al G. Barnes Circus, Barnum & Bailey Circus, Buffalo Bill's Wild West, Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, Ringling Bros. Circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and the Sells Bros. Circus. There are posters from the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, India, Spain, Mexico, Italy, and Japan.
  • The posters document a variety of activities of the circus, popular culture in the United States, art styles, advertising methods, and prominent individuals involved in circuses. They also illustrate methods of printing including wood engravings, lithography, and rotogravure. They vary in size from 20x18 inches to 10x100 feet.


  • This collection is at the Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin.
  • Available on color transparencies and black & white prints. Color transparencies available on loan for a fee and prints can be purchased.
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