52 Weeks Of Donna's Life

Donna's Photo Challenge

49. Tiny World

10 Comments

On my last visit to the Ringling Circus Museum, I stopped at the Tibbals Learning Center which houses a complete miniature circus created by Howard Tibbals. It is composed of 44,000 pieces depicting life in the circus and its many facets.

It is told that Howard Tibbals fell in love with the circus as a boy and devoted his life to assembling this tiny recreation patterned after the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey combined shows. The time period encompassed the years 1919 to 1938. His figures and portrayals are based on the reality of circus life showing structures and actual staging of this large spectacle. In addition, he has scaled figures that would have been the workers, the actors and the spectators. He has set this particular circus in the town of “Knoxville” and has included factories, stores, railroad stations, cars and, of course, its people.

In 2006, Tibbals Learning Center opened as part of the Ringling Circus Museum. Its centerpiece was the “Howard Brothers Circus” including 3,800 square feet of Howard Tibbals’ circus masterpiece. All of these pieces are scaled to the entire scene and are minutely detailed. (By clicking on each picture below, you can enlarge it.)

Side shows of the Howard Bros. Circus

Side shows of the Howard Bros. Circus

The elephants and some circus performers on parade.

The elephants and some circus performers on parade.

Team of horses pulling a circus wagon through town.

Team of horses pulling a circus wagon through town.

Attendant with ostrich pulling a sulky and driver.

Attendant with ostrich pulling a sulky and driver.

A grocery / market used by the circus personnel.

A grocery / market used by the circus personnel.

Scene showing relaxing circus personnel along with their laundry.

Scene showing relaxing circus personnel along with their laundry.

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Author: donnagf1

An enthusiastic amateur photographer, I enjoy picturing the events, people, animals and things in my life. And so joining in the "52 Week Challenge" of interpreting life through a lens sounds as if it will be a lot of fun -- presenting my view through the lens and seeing how others in our photography group interpret their views concerning a given subject.

10 thoughts on “49. Tiny World

  1. I was fascinated with the display when I first saw it! Great shots.

  2. I love that exhibit, nice job!

  3. It is truly a lot of work. I had a neighbor growing up that had a whole circus in his attic. In Connecticut some houses you could use the attic area. I remember going over there many times to see his display which included working parts. He should have talked to mr. Tin balls.

  4. How interesting I will have to check this out!

  5. Hoping you find it as interesting —

  6. What a great display. Great shots. I have never heard of this before.

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