Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vintage Sideshow Banners

My friend Bruce Webb has an amazing collection of pre-1950s sideshow carnival banners, and this week I finally took the plunge and bought one from him. For many years sideshow banners weren't looked upon as serious works of art but merely as advertising to pull customers into the tents. It wasn't until sometime in the '80's that collectors and outside art dealers began to acquire and sell the pieces. Among the artists who found fame in the last couple of decades (posthumous fame in most cases), Fred Johnson is considered to be one of the finest banner painters in the history of the circus and sideshow world. I'm fortunate to now own one of his pieces -- Midget Bull below. Check out some more of his amazing banners here.


Chris Brown said...

Cool. Would love to score the "Tattooed Girl"!

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