Here, in both glory and grit, is the American circus during the most vibrant period in its history. These photographs, t seen for almost a century, show it all, from the pre-performance parades and tent raisings to the magical events under the Big Top and the train leaving town. We see performers hanging by their teeth and hanging out the laundry, and much in between. These truly remarkable images capture both the intensity of the routines and the spirit of camaraderie of the performers. Glasier's work was unique in many ways, t the least of which was the off-hand elegance he allowed his subjects, even the wonderful animals. This was the era of the big tents, and in these beautiful prints they appear as seductive, gossamer backdrops to the performers. Mark Sloan's discovery of Glasier's work is a true gift to circus lovers and all of us who care about our past. 75 duotone images.
MARK SLOAN is the Director of the Halsey Gallery at the College of Charleston and the author of three other books.