Decades of Delight: 250 Years of Circus

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Sat 25 Nov 2017 - Sun 22 Apr 2018

For 25 decades the wonderful amazing art and entertainment form known as circus has thrilled, delighted and enchanted audiences all over the world. But what do we know about its history and development and the many stories of dare devilry that were found in the circus ring? From the founder of Circus himself, Philip Astley, an equestrian from Newcastle under Lyme, to the real life daring young man on his flying trapeze who gave his name to the leotard, learn the secrets of the ring, the lifestyle and the stories of the circus, the identity of the original human cannonball act in 1877 and when the big top was invented. Come and discover the part played by Berry's of Bradford, the designers of choice for the leading British Circus families whose posters proclaimed the coming of leading shows across the United Kingdom and see examples of their work across the years. 

Social history objects from Bradford's museum collections will be included plus some items on loan by private lenders. Bringing us to the current day, view contemporary illustration by Emily Sutton.

Some works on loan from the National Fairground and Circus Archive. 

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