Under the Big Top
[Exhibition from Holiday 2003]
Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages were welcomed to the Gunn Historical Museum's holiday exhibit, "Under The Big Top." The exhibition ran through January 4, 2004 and featured a number of artifacts lent by local individuals. A statue of a baby elephant on the front lawn helped to advertise the show.
The miniature circus village (left) created by local modeler Ned Swigart invited a closer look by capturing the excitement of the day the circus train arrives, and the parade down Main Street to the circus grounds. Also on display was a miniature carnival complete with operating carousel, roller coaster and ferris wheel also created by Mr. Swigart. Large wooden, hand-carved carousel animals by Doug Skilton of Morris included a giraffe, camel, tiger, two horses, a cow, rooster, and zebra! Circus artist John Belfontaine lent many of his works, depicting the great variety of people and animals associated with the circus. John also loaned the museum many circus posters from his collection. There were also circus toys from the famous German toy manufacturer Schoenhut, circus drawings by Alexander Calder, and many circus artifacts borrowed from Commerford and Sons of Goshen, CT. Circus programs and other mementos from the family of Lou Jacobs, the master clown of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey for more than 60 years, were also displayed.
Related ProgramsIn support of "Under The Big Top," the Gunn Memorial Library and Museum held several programs:
- Saturday, December 27th the Airborne Jugglers -- Joe Murray and Susan Kirby -- conducted a workshop on the fine art of juggling. Children were encouraged to try their hand at this interesting and important circus activity.
- Sunday, December 28th John Belfontaine welcomed children, ages 8 and up, to the museum to try their hands at creating a circus drawing. Mr. Belfontaine is an accomplished artist who specializes in the circus. Many of his creative artworks were on display in the museum's show.
- Tuesday, December 30th Virginia the camel appeared outside the museum. This beautiful animal was provided by Tim Commerford of Commerford and Sons of Goshen, CT. The weather cooperated, and excited children were able to to take a short camel ride.
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