We have a beautiful collection of old and vintage circus posters dating from the late 1800s to the 1970s. These include posters from the Ringling Brothers circus, Barnum & Bailey circus, Adam Forepaugh circus, and Sells Brothers circuses, to name a few.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the circus was an annual event awaited with great anticipation. Weeks before the circus was due to arrive, colorful posters appeared on barns and fences, announcing the dates and new performers. When the circus arrived, excitement grew as wagons, elephants, and clowns paraded through town. Most circus posters feature dramatic new acts or exotic animals; many make outrageous (and sometimes utterly false) claims – the largest, the smallest, the most dangerous, the rarest, the one and only, etc.