Circus Figures and Circus Posters
Among the most popular exhibitions at Shelburne are two hand-carved wood circuses: the Roy Arnold Circus Parade and the Kirk Bros. Circus.
The Arnold Circus Parade has nearly 4,000 figures. It was made between 1925-55 and forms a parade over 500 feet long. The one-inch-to-one-foot scale figures include a myriad of clowns, acrobats, animals, and circus wagons that evoke the heyday of the circus era.
The Kirk Bros. Circus is a miniature three-ring circus with audience comprised of over 3,500 pieces. Edgar Kirk (1891-1956) fashioned the figures over 40 years using only a treadle jigsaw and penknife.
Shelburne Museum has more than 500 circus posters dating from 1870 to 1940. The imaginative, bright-colored posters advertise Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers, and other major shows. Although not on permanent display, the posters are featured in changing exhibitions.