The Cincinnati Art Museum is currently running a great exhibit, "The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company." This exhibit has strong local ties as the Strobridge company was a world known printing concern based in Cincinnati for many years in the 1800's and early 1900's. And of course...it's about the circus!!
My wife and I finally made it to the museum last week to take this exhibit in and to have lunch. (It's one of our favorite past times to go to the museum in the middle of the week to take in the current exhibits and then have lunch. The galleries tend to be empty then...so it's like a private showing!) Now let me tell you, it's one thing to see photos of these posters....it's another to see them up close. They are magnificent!! Not only in their scale...they're huge!....but in the quality of the printing that was possible with lithography. I dabble in relief printing and have done a little screen printing...after seeing this exhibit I want to learn how to do litho! (It looks like a time and equipment...and chemical...intensive endeavor so I'm not sure I will...)
The exhibit is quite extensive, filling several galleries, and is broken down into themes...like circus parades, "freaks", performers, and of course....elephants! I really enjoyed this part as I had just finished reading Sarah Gruen's book, Water for Elephants. (Thank you Erika for recommending this book in your blog!) After reading this book, you'll not look on an elephant with the same eyes!!
The show runs through July 10, 2011 so if you're in Cincinnati and have a moment do go see it. And maybe you'll be like me and think of Toby Tyler and running off to join the circus!!!