During the heyday of the American circus (1870-1950), cities and towns across the country were wallpapered with thousands of brightly colored and dynamic posters weeks in advance of a show’s arrival. Adopting a “go big or go home” attitude, American circuses advertised through posters that were the “mass media” of their day, both in terms of their volume and their size.
This exhibition will feature some of the largest circus posters in Shelburne Museum’s collection. Several posters have not been exhibited since entering the Museum’s collection because of their immense size. One section of the exhibition will feature the Colchester circus posters, discovered underneath the exterior siding on Harold and Gladys Degree’s home in Colchester, Vermont in 1991.