Robert Riggs, Baton Twirler
An avid circusgoer from a young age, Robert Riggs began making lithographs of the performances in 1933. When Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus traveled to Philadelphia, the artist went twice a day to sketch members of the troupe onstage and off, befriending many of them. His prints portray recognizable circus characters.
Riggs made at least three paintings of African American baton twirlers (Woodmere’s collection also includes ). This picture is an intimate study of the performer. The artist shows her with her arms extended and body tightly bent, focusing on her athleticism and physique.