Robert Riggs, High Trapeze 2

c. 1934
Lithograph on woven paper
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Clare W. Gargalli and Robert B. Waterhouse in memory of Dr. Robert B. Waterhouse, 1983
8 1/2 x 7 in.

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.

In this lithograph, a trapeze artist deftly hangs upside down, arms outstretched and toes pointed. This intimate character study shows Riggs’s close observation of the performers and his careful tonal study of lights and darks.

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