- Past Exhibitions
- Behind the Lens, Under the Big Top: The Circus Photography of Elliot Fenander
Behind the Lens, Under the Big Top: The Circus Photography of Elliot Fenander
May 15 - Oct 30View Gallery
This special exhibit features images from the 1,500 mostly black and white negatives recently donated to Shelburne Museum by photographer Elliot Fenander. Taken in the late 1960s, Fenander’s photographs document the circus during a period of decline in a culturally turbulent era.
The photographs highlight Fenander’s experiences with several circuses and his relationships with performers and staff. Through these personal relationships and professional associations Fenander gained unfettered access behind the scenes and inside the rings. Through Fenander’s camera lens, the viewer gains a perspective rarely seen by outsiders including poignant images that capture a range of emotions, from anxiety backstage to exhilaration of the performances to the awe of the audience.
Donated in 2010 and first featured in last season’s exhibit Circus Day in America, Fenander’s photographs provide a chronological bookend to Shelburne’s collection of Golden Age circus ephemera which dates from as early as the late 18th century through the middle of the 20th century.