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    

Antique Fine Feathers Native American Poster Miller Bros Wild West Circus ShowSells-floto Circus Poster 1920's Buffalo Bill's Portrait Erie Litho One SheetBarnum & Bailey Circus Poster 1898 - "coney Island" - Strobridge - Great PieceHo Large Train Cars Lot Walthers The Great Circus Train Poster Program BrochuresSells Brothers Circus Poster -- Hassan Ben Ali's Moorish Caravan -- 1891 -- Wow!Forepaugh & Sells Bros Circus Poster 1899 Clowns Strobridge Litho Linen MountBarnum & Bailey Circus Poster 1895 Carl Clair's Band Strobridge Litho One Sheet101 Ranch Real Wild West Railroad Excursion Herald Authentic Circus Poster 1913Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster 1892 Imrekiraley's Columbus Spectacular Linen Sells Bros.& Barrett Circus Poster -- General Phil Sheridan -- No Res -- Nice!Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster 1893 Featuring Parade Strobridge Great Piece!Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster 1894 Horses & Roughriders Strobridge Great Piece!Sells-floto Circus Poster 1916 Classic Clown Erie Litho One Sheet Nice PieceVampire Circus, Original Vintage 1972 Arg Movie Poster - Horror/ Robert YoungCole Bros Marion Knowlton Authentic Circus Poster - Half Sheet Panel (c.1940)Al G Barnes Sells-floto Elephant Title Authentic Circus Poster - C.1937Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus Poster 42 X 28 (p7045)Adam Forepaugh Circus Train Excursion Original Circus Poster/herald - 1894Cole Bros Clown And Tents Authentic Circus Poster - One Sheet (c.1935)Ringling Barnum Liberty Bandwagon Authentic Circus Poster (1943)Vintage 1930's Greater Exposition Show Circus Style Poster 21" X 28" Framed NrSig Sautelle Old Fashioned Circus Original Circus Poster - Herald (circa 1911)Arthur Bros Cowgirl (1944) Authentic Circus Poster - Window CardBritney Spears 2009 Circus Tour Poster Piece Of Me Innocent Sexy Pin UpKelly-miller Giraffe (1958) Authentic Circus Poster - Window CardU.s. Used Forever Vintage Circus Poster Stamps, 15 Total, On PaperBritney Spears 2009 Circus Tour Poster Piece Of Me Innocent Sexy Pin UpOriginal Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster 23 1/2 X 15 1/4Arthur Bros Girl With Elephants (1944) Authentic Circus Poster - Window CardVintage Date Poster. Barnhill's Circus West Middlesex Pennsylvania. Inv-m16-130Jumbo The Children's Giant Pet Barnum Circus Poster Retro Ad Sign 9.75" X 15.75"Barney O'hearn Spec - Camel And Float Authentic Circus Poster - One SheetVintage - Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey - Circus Poster (dated 1938!)Rare Original Tiger Soury Poster - Vintage Cirque Pinder Circus LithographRare Original Lion Tamer Soury Poster - Vintage Cirque Pinder Circus LithographHuman Freaks Side Show Vintage Circus Poster Premium Canvas Print 24x36 In.Post Card Of An Old Circus Poster For Ringling Brothers Combined ShowsBlack Butler Kuroshitsuji Book Of Circus - Mini Poster Set Of 2