Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Ringling Bros And A Circus Museum

Tony took us to the Ringling (and Barnum and Bailey) Circus Museum. What a great place. The museum contains dozens of costumes from several eras of circus history, circus posters (which were stunning!) and all on the proerty of John and Mable Ringling and their mansion.

Theres Staggs sillouette so you can get an idea of the scale of the models.

An elephant peeking out of the train...

As you can see there is a lot, a LOT, of detail in these models. The fellow who built them became obsessed with the circus he saw when he was a kid and the sensation of it arriving in town for one day and then leaving. The model here shows how extensive the work to set up after unloading from 150 train cars to building tents, cleaning costumes and cooking for over a thousand workers of the circus. This was the "avatar" of iots day...a complete organized social economic system where everyone had a place and everything moved with exact timing for health safety and the wellbeing of the employees and performers. And all while providing Depression era audiences with sensational shows, language, mystery and awe. For one day. Then they would disemble the entire operation and move to another town. They did this for 150 performances a year. It's like they built an entire film set, and took it apart every day.

This is the house that John and Mable Ringling built for themselves in 1924 in Sarasota.

Related Links:

1) About the model-maker Tibbals
2) The Ringling Circus Museum
3) Bio of John Ringling from Wiki

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