Hot Off the Press: Howard Bros. Circus Model Book Available for the First Time at a Ringling Museum Reception
SARASOTA, Fla. – October 14, 2008 – Children of all ages are invited to purchase The Circus in Miniature: The Howard Bros. Circus Model about the Howard Bros. Circus Model at a reception, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008, 4-5 p.m. at the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Howard Tibbals, creator of the miniature model circus, and generous Ringling Museum philanthropist, will be signing copies of the book.
The 72-page, full-color book includes images, facts and historical information about the 3,800 square-foot model and provides detailed insight into the circus during its heyday.
The Howard Bros. Circus Model is the largest miniature circus in the world. The ¾-inch-to-a-foot scale circus model is a replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at a time when the tented circus was at its largest.
“The model circus is a valuable asset at the Ringling Estate,” said Ringling Museum Executive Director Dr. John Wetenhall. “It in nearly impossible to take in the magnificence of this model the first, or even the second time, you see it. Just as you would get a program book at the circus, this book is the perfect souvenir for visitors who want to explore the miniature and its magic after they leave.”
Deborah Walk, Tibbals Curator of the Circus Museum and Curator of Historical Documents and Jennifer Lemmer Posey, Assistant Curator of the Circus Museum, co-authored the book based on interviews with Tibbals and his records and research on the circus. Wetenhall also provides an introduction to the book.
The book tells the story of Tibbals’ love for the circus, circus history and model building. It chronicles his first encounter with the circus, his passion for model building and how he selected the Ringling Estate for its permanent home. The book takes the reader on a journey through the model from railcars unloading to backstage preparations and finally to the main event under the big top. Readers will learn what it was like to experience the circus during its heyday.
“People are fascinated by the model circus,” said Walk. “They are also fascinated by Howard Tibbals himself. This book lets visitors peek into his world, learn about his passion and get a historically accurate view of the circus.”
The book was published by The John and Ringling Museum of Art and printed by Serbin Printing, Inc. in Sarasota, Fla.
The book may be purchased for $9.95 at the Museum Stores located in the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion and the Cà d’Zan Mansion. The Museum Stores are open 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., daily and admission to the Ringling Estate is not required to visit the Museum Stores. Museum members receive a 10 percent discount on all Museum Store purchases. Call 941.359.5700 for additional information or visit www.ringling.org.