Sunday, November 21, 2010

museum inspiration: circus

One of the greatest influences on my personal style was fairly constant access to the Circus Museum at the Ringling grounds in Sarasota, FL as a kid. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite pieces:

Buffalo Bill's gauntlets

60s pantomime

I want this jacket very badly

velvet&sequin elephant drape

Ladies costumes

Puss n'Boots Dress

Men's jackets

helloooo there

Perhaps the most important pieces in the collection, and to me - Emmett Kelly's outfit

his tape-covered bowler and home-cobbled coat

and Lou Jacobs' "canary"

Here is a portrait of Lou & his dog

and in his full make-up

These were done by Jim Howle, the first artist to travel with the circus, and himself a Ringling Bros. clown. Here is his self-portrait

These portraits were among the first things I'd see every day of my childhood. To say that the circus was a profound influence on me is really an understatement.

Be prepared for more in this museum inspiration series. The Ringling grounds house a lot of incredible collections. There's one coming of the fabrics in Ringling home, one of the rose garden which is quite extensive, and the museum itself which houses a world class collection of Dutch masters and baroque works - I concentrated on the jewelry for you. Stay tuned!