[A mammoth album of circus photographs]. James V. Chloupek, compiler.
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].
[A mammoth album of circus photographs].

[A mammoth album of circus photographs].

Various locations in the United States, including Oakland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, Calif.; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Beaver Dam, Fond Du Lac, and Whitewater, Wisconsin; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Sioux City, Iowa; Chattanooga, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri, and elsewhere. Folio, embossed black paper over boards with gilt central ornament on upper cover, bolt and wing-nut fasteners at spine. 1117 silver gelatin photographs on 84 leaves, 900 of which range in size from 2.25” x 3.75” to 4.5” x 6.5”, with an additional 117 small movie stills affixed to two pages, measuring approx. .75” x 1.5” each. Typewritten captions on most pages and below many individual photos.

An extraordinary album of over 1000 extensively captioned photographs evidently compiled by circus devotee, collector, and amateur photographer James Chloupek or someone close to him, chronicling the American circus scene in the first half of the twentieth century, particularly around the time of World War II.

This remarkable album captures seemingly every aspect of the circus with many shots of the big top rolling into town on trains; a wide variety of often highly decorative wagons; parades; setting up the tents; excited crowds; all sorts of behind the scenes stuff; and of course a delightful variety of performers, including clowns (full-size, miniature, and cross-dressing), cowboys, high and slack wire artists, trick riders, trapeze artists, animal handlers, show girls in exotic costumes, elephant riders and dancers, native Americans (apparently both real and pseudo), a Charlie Chaplin imitator, and others. Also included are images of such infrequently documented subjects as the butcher for animals, circus workers on strike, model wagon makers, famous collector “Walter Scholl,” workers pasting up posters, the superintendent of canvas, “Hammerhead, prop man,” and so on. Among the circuses documented are the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey; Hagenbeck-Wallace; Robin Bros.; 101 Ranch; Parker & Watts; Ham & Egg; Cole Bros.; Barker Bros; Yankee Patterson; Rowe Bros.; Lewis Bros.; Campbell Bros.; Bud Anderson’s, and others. While most of the photographs are concentrated in the period from 1939 to 1943, others are dated 1906, 1925, 1926, 1934, 1936, 1937, and 1938. Also included is a series of six copy photos of the Lemen Bros. Circus in Detroit, Minnesota in 1899.

James V. Chloupek (1883–1945) was a resident of Alameda, California and a charter member of the Circus Fans’ Association. As this album abundantly demonstrates, he was far more than a casual circus fan. A number of photographs of Chloupek at circuses in California appear in the album, often showing him posed with performers, animals, or management. Five photographs of performers are inscribed to Chloupek, three of which refer to him as a “friend.” While it is unclear who took most of the photographs in the album, Chloupek is seen in several with his camera, and it seems likely that at least some were taken by him. A few are credited to commercial photographers. Although online references to Chloupek are relatively scant he is mentioned as a source consulted by Charles Sturtevant in compiling his Who’s Who in American Circus, and copies of Chloupek’s Data Concerning Dates, Location of Lots and Features of All Circuses Visiting San Francisco and Oakland from 1849 to 1934 are held by the Bancroft Library and the American Antiquarian Society.

A feast of circus photos compiled by an ardent fan, documenting the bygone days of this once pervasive form of itinerant entertainment.

REFERENCES: Who's Who in the American Circus : Sturtevant's List of Circuses 1940 - 1952 at www.circushistory.com; a notice of Chloupek’s death appears in the The Billboard, July 14, 1945, p. 44.

CONDITION: Good, pages and photos rippled, occasional yellowish discoloration to some images.

Item #4607

On Hold

Price: $12,500.00

See all items in Photographs
See all items by ,