Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.


"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls:

Welcome to, the ultimate image bank with posters, photos and prints from the collection of Jaap Best, the Netherlands’ largest collection of circus memorabilia.

For your enjoyment, our online show, now has nearly eight thousand circus posters from 1880 to the present, from the Netherlands to America, from A2 format to several square metres. At the heart of the collection, and dating from 1880-1930, are nearly 3,500 colour lithographs by the Hamburg printer Adolph Friedländer. This year alone we have added 7,000 circus photos and picture postcards.

Our sophisticated search engine has hundreds of headwords – not just for acts and artistes, and for owners and individual circuses, but also for fairs, variety shows and the theatre."


Anonymous said…
If you're interested in photos of clowns, circus acts, freak shows, side shows and the like from the 1920's and 30's, I encourage you to take a look at this site.

It's interesting to compare this to photos from the circus of the 1920's and 30's. Personally, I think it's lost most of it's charm.

A close friend of mine recently put together another form of tribute for his grandfather, E.J. Kelty, who was often referred to as "The Circus Photographer". His photos are quite amazing - you'd probably recognize some. They're of the people, the acts, the animals, side shows and more. His site is at

Take care.

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