ARTifacts: Welcome to the Big Top

If you put up an exhibition called The Arts of the Circus, as the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts did in October 1962, it is a no-brainer that the preview party will be its own three-ring circus.

DMCA Director Douglas MacAgy as Ringmaster for "The Arts of the Circus" preview party. Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

DMCA Director Douglas MacAgy as Ringmaster for the Arts of the Circus preview party.
Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

The party featured clowns, balloons, animal crackers and pink lemonade, a sideshow, fire-eaters, and a baby elephant.

Fire-eater at the preview party for the DMCA's "The Arts of the Circus" exhibition. Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

Fire-eater at the preview party for the DMCA’s The Arts of the Circus exhibition. Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

Dallas artists Roy Fridge, Nancy Levinson, David McManaway, Herb Rogalla, Peggy Wilson, and Roger Winter created special sideshow banners to complete the circus atmosphere.

Sideshow banners created for "The Arts of the Circus."

Sideshow banners by local artists created for The Arts of the Circus

The exhibition proper included both circus objects and memorabilia, and artworks with a circus-related subject; it was on view at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts October 9-November 11, 1962.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

3 Responses to “ARTifacts: Welcome to the Big Top”


  1. 1 altroup March 23, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    a shame the people who put this event on did not get in touch with me and now this discussion comes up, since I was a kid in 1962 and Troup Gallery was invloved with J O Lambert and others…. and had quite a few artifacts from that era, you know you guys just are not from Dallas after all and so who reqally cares, I do then again life is tto short….good luck on who would know..and who can tell the truth…..

  2. 2 altroup March 23, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    oh that is me in the photograph…..

  3. 3 altroup March 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    You know what gets me is that we went over too his house 3 years ago and he said he was going too get that story right, and we discussed the images from 3 events…….now whos in charge with life and death of the legacy of culture in this silly city of transit labor college labor pool…..from one college museum too another, hired too work on the Dallas Plantations to get facts correct….hahaha…and that is me in the image, by the magician, he opens this book that caught on fire…..


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