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The book accompanies an exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts. Among the artists discussed are Diane Arbus, George Bellows, Rhona Bitner, Alexander Calder, John Stuart Curry, Charles Demeuth, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Lisette Model, and Bruce Nauman. In addition to Gustafson's, the book contains essays by Karal Ann Marling on the postwar revival of interest in circus motifs and on the clown in popular culture, by Ellen Handy on the circus in twentieth-century photography, by Lee Siegel on the circus in twentieth-century literature, and by Eugene R. Gaddis on A. Everett "Chick" Austin's collection and exhibition of paintings with circus themes. As director of the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Ringling Museum of Art, and as a performing magician, Austinunited the worlds of art and the circus.
"A stunning collection.... A lush, vibrant contribution to the gorgeous and the grotesque 'literature of the circus.'" LA Weekly
The MIT Press