Robert Riggs, On the Lot

Robert Riggs: On the Lot (Undated) Lithography
On the Lot
Credit Line
Museum purchase, Charles Knox Smith Acquisition Fund, 2012
17 ¾" x 12 1/8"

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, Riggs depicts performers offstage. In the center, a clown in an overly large costume puts on his jacket, while acrobats contort around him and a clown bends over an elongated dog. The composition is framed by the ropes supporting the circus tents.

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