Robert Riggs, Tumblers

Robert Riggs: Tumblers (c. 1936) lithograph on heavy woven paper
c. 1936
lithograph on heavy woven paper
Credit Line
Gift of Clare W. Gargalli and Robert B. Waterhouse in memory of Dr. Robert B. Waterhouse
14 3/8" x 19"

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.

Possibly a depiction of the Wen Hais Chinese troupe, Tumblers depicts an impressive array of balancing acrobats. The scene is composed from the vantage point of fellow circus performers. With his subtractive lithographic method, Riggs carefully delineated forms with high contrasts between lights and darks

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