Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Arts

Rare circus photos come to Tampa Bay History Center

A marvelous show of circus photographs that debuted at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is coming to Tampa. So if you missed it in 2010, see it now. Or see it again at the Tampa Bay History Center beginning Saturday.

Frederick W. Glasier (1866-1950) created a remarkable body of work during the early 20th century when traveling circuses were in their heyday. His photographs were almost lost to history after the surviving glass plate negatives suffered years of neglect, even after the Ringling acquired 1,700 of them from a collector in 1963.

They were in bad shape, many broken, and suffered even more when the Ringling's basement flooded in the 1970s. After a 20-year conservation project, with a boost from grants and technology, all have been scanned and cataloged and we see 64 newly created prints from the group in this show.

Glasier was not only a fine documentarian but also had a gifted eye for composition. He was a self-taught photographer when it was still a nascent craft. He had studios in Massachusetts and probably made most of his living doing portraits of locals, but he was clearly captivated by the roving circuses that migrated to small towns across the country every summer. In a time before movies, the circus was the most popular form of collective entertainment. When it arrived, schools and businesses closed and the entire community turned out to watch it parade through the city in a grand progress to its campgrounds, where the circus staff and entertainers lived in tents and wagons.

Glasier recorded everything: the pandemonium of the circus' arrival, the raising of the big top tent and the myriad members of a circus, from cooks to daredevils. He was given access behind the scenes, and that intimacy produced relaxed, natural shots along with astonishing shots, for their time, of performers captured in stop-action photos.

Information from Times files was used in this report. Lennie Bennett can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8293.

Comments

Richey Suncoast theatre audition schedule for 2018-2019 shows

Got a hankering to perform on stage? Want to be part of a community theatre production? The Richey Suncoast Theatre, 6237 Grand Boulevard, New Port Richey, will be hosting auditions for its upcoming Broadway and Blackbox seasons. Auditions are open t...
Published: 08/13/18
Legendary graffiti artists painted sneakers to sell and display in Tampa (with gallery)

Legendary graffiti artists painted sneakers to sell and display in Tampa (with gallery)

TAMPA Sneakers are as integral to hip-hop culture as DJs, MCs, breakdancing and graffiti. And in 1983, when the Reebok Classic was introduced to the world, the South Bronx was erupting with this culture, including a core group of daring graffiti arti...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18
$5 admission all month at the Imagine Museum, plus art talks and altered books

$5 admission all month at the Imagine Museum, plus art talks and altered books

HOT DEAL: IMAGINE MUSEUMIf you havenít been over to see the stunning collection of studio glass art at the Imagine Museum, maybe $5 admission would motivate you. Thatís right, the museum is offering $5 admission to Pinellas County residents every day...
Published: 08/08/18
Itís your last weekend to catch two important exhibitions at the MFA before they close

Itís your last weekend to catch two important exhibitions at the MFA before they close

ST. PETERSBURG ó Itís the last weekend to catch two important exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts. "Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today" and "Can I Get a Witness: Photographs by Herb Snizter" close on Sunday."Magnetic F...
Published: 08/03/18
Must-see art exhibits in Seminole Heights and animals at the James Museum

Must-see art exhibits in Seminole Heights and animals at the James Museum

FIRST FRIDAY: ART IN THE HEIGHTSLike many cultural niches around the bay, Seminole Heights has a monthly art walk, which happens again Friday. Even nongalleries in the neighborhood showcase local art, and the shows at galleries Quaid, Tempus Projects...
Published: 08/01/18
Updated: 08/03/18
Lakeland buildings to be adorned with temporary tapestries

Lakeland buildings to be adorned with temporary tapestries

Beginning early November, buildings in Lakeland will have their walls adorned with giant temporary tapestries painted by artists from Polk County and central Florida.These tapestries, also called "Un-Murals," will hang across the Dixieland, midtown a...
Updated one month ago