With the debut of the modern traveling circus in the early 1800s, circus posters became crucial for drawing crowds to what were only one or two performances per location. Many early ads were simple woodblock prints mentioning the name of the circus, the price of admission, and a few acts (often pre-printed images with custom text). Later, in the early 20th century, colorful, fanciful custom designs of leaping animals, clowns, and ringmasters became standard for circus posters.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Circusmuseum.nl

Circusmuseum.nl

Step right up and check out almost 8,000 beautiful circus posters, photos and prints. Assembled by longtime Dutch c… [read review or visit site]

London Transport Museum Posters

London Transport Museum Posters

A must-see collection of 5,000 vivid, colorful British posters from the early 1900s onward. Browse by artist (over … [read review or visit site]

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Wish you'd visited San Francisco in the late 1960s? Get a quick hit with this comprehensive collection of psychedel… [read review or visit site]

USSR Posters

USSR Posters

Ben Perry's Flickr photoset showcasing almost 1500 Soviet propaganda, advertising, theatre and movie posters from 1… [read review or visit site]

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library's impressive Digital Gallery offers free access to over 500,000 historical images inclu… [read review or visit site]

The American Memory Project

The American Memory Project

This amazing Library of Congress site includes about a hundred photo and document collections (see complete list) o… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster W/ Largest GorillaRingling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus Poster Strobridge Litho Reprint ElephantsRingling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Greatest Show On Earth Old Vintage PosterVintage Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster With Clown 17x24-1/2Vintage Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster With ChariotRingling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Lion Circus Poster - 1951 Union Label StampRingling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster Strobridge "clown" 24x16 1/2 1927?Kiss - Original June 3, 1976 Circus Krone Concert Promo Poster - Destroyer TourKenneth Feld Presents Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster New1984 Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Souvenir Program & PosterRingling-barnum Majorette And Elephant Authentic Circus Poster (1949)Ringling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus Poster Litho Reprint 100 ClownsRingling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus Poster Litho Reprint Giraffe Neck Women BurmaVtg Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Freaks Sideshow Odd Poster PrintRingling Bros Army Of 50 Clowns Poster - 1960 Circus World MuseumVintage Ringling Brothers Circus Poster Jim Rumph Estate Mind Circus 1974 Poster Traveling Cosmic Energy Show 11 X 17Ringling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus PosterVtg Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Army Of Clowns Poster PrintVintage Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster With Chariot"'ringling Bros./barnum & Bailey' Off. 1974 Circus Souvenir Program W/poster"Ringling Bros. Barnum And Bailey Circus Poster Ca. 1945 Original LithographVtg.1960 Al G. Barnes Wild Animal Circus Poster Circus World Museum CopyrightAl G Kelly-miller Bros Circus Rhino And Natives Authentic Circus Poster (1955) 1978 Ringling Bros And Barnum Bailey Circus Full Color Poster Book 10 X 14Vintage Hagen Brothers 3-ring Circus PosterGooding Amusement Co. Circus Style Carnival Poster One SheetVintage 1950s Sedwick County Cheney Kansas Deforrest & Lynn Magic Circus PosterPost Card Of An Old Circus Poster For Ringling Brothers Combined ShowsBentley Bros. Circus Old Vintage Poster Washington County Fraternal Order PoliceBudweiser King Of Beers Old Vintage Great Circus Parade Poster This Buds For YouClyde Beatty Circus Elephants Poster1991 - Six Circus Poster Postcard 4.2" X 5.75" Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey A+Barnum & Bailey Ringling Bros Circus Poster Tiger Panther Animal Show Print 1394Al G. Barnes Wild Animal Circus Vintage Poster - 1960 Circus World MuseumVintage Christiani - Wallace Brothers Circus Poster Woman On ElephantVintage Cardboard Franzen Brothers Circus Poster Sign Milford Delaware 14" X 22"Gooding Amusement Co. Circus Style Carnival Poster One SheetBarnum & Bailey Peerless Prodigies Human Curiosities Poster - 1960 Circus World Poster Of The Clyde Beatty- Cole Bros. Combined CircusVintage Circus Poster Print, John B Doris Circus, Barraboo Circus World MuseumRingling Bros Barnum And Bailey Circus Metal Sign Plaque Vintage Advert Poster1973 Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus World Barnum City Florida PosterBarnum & Bailey Ringling Bros Circus Poster Tiger Panther Animal Show Print 1394Barnum & Bailey Ringling Bros Circus Poster Tiger Panther Animal Show Print 1394Vintage Circus Poster Print, Robbins Bros Railroad, Barraboo Circus World MuseumPost Card Of An Old Circus Poster For Ringling Brothers Combined Shows1963 Ward Baking Co, Clyde Beatty, Cole Bros Circus Poster Elmo Topp In Person Vintage 1981 ? Big John Strong Mojave Co. Fairgrounds 14 X 42 In. Circus PosterPost Card Of An Old Circus Poster Big Bingo Two Story Elephant Ringling Brothers