Robert Riggs, On Stage Four

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
14 3/4 x 18 7/8 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.

Dressed as clowns, slap boxers Billy DeNaro and Chesty Mortier dramatically slug each other while spectators, and a costumed dachshund, watch. “Stage four” refers to one of numerous stages in a circus tent—specifically, the platform located near the entrance.


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