An exhibit that captures life in the American circus between 1900 and 1956 will open Feb. 20 in the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The public is invited to an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Mercantile Library located in UMSL’s Thomas Jefferson Library.
Selected from the Tegge Circus Archive, the exhibition explores the fascinating life of the American circus through classic posters, historical artifacts and a hand-carved diorama of the circus train’s arrival in town. These iconic circus materials provide insight into one of our nation’s most beloved and enduring entertainments and the people who bring the magic to life.
The Tegge Circus Archive has been the life work of Timothy Tegge, a circus performer since he made his debut at the age of 3 with his father, a circus clown. By the time he was 5, he could put on his own makeup and was performing in the family-owned TNT and Royal Olympic Circus. After nearly 50 years in the circus business, Tegge continues to perform as a ringmaster in various American circuses.
The exhibit runs through Aug. 7 and is open during regular library hours. Free group tours of the exhibition are available at 11 a.m. Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays or by appointment.