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    

Harris Brothers Circus Poster 1930's Lion & Tiger Riding Horse & Elephant ErieDisney Dsf Circus Poster Series Pin Rapunzel Tangled Le 300 Soda FountainRobbins Bros Circus Poster "aerialists" 1938 Chattanooga, Tn Date Tag -- No ResWater L. Main Circus Poster 1920's Loaded With Clowns - America Spectacle - Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster 1892 Imre Kiralfy's Columbus Spectacular 1 SheetRussell Bros. Circus Poster "flying Concellos" 1945 Poster No Res! 1 SheetAdam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Circus Poster 1896 Beautiful Woman On Horse Sells Bros. Circus Poster 1893 Spectacular Featuring Pony Floats Strobridge Al. G. Barnes Circus Poster "tiger" 1930's Central Ptg & Illinois Co. 1 SheetCole Bros. Circus Poster "jean Allen" 1945 "daring Horsewoman" 1 Sheet No Res!Alexander Calder Circus 1972 Exhibition Poster Art Vintage Mid Century Lot Of 5 Circus Poster Sheets Mint Post Office Fresh Great Postage Stamp LotParker & Watts Circus Poster 1938 Feats Of Horsemanship One Sheet No ReserveOriginal Vintage Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster TigerDisney Pin 7 Dumbo D23 Baby Elephant Poster Circus Sketch Easel Mrs. JumboVintage Circus Poster 22"x14" Hubert Castle International Shrine St Joseph MoVintage Mills Brothers Circus Window Poster Bethlehem Pa. Tons Of Elephants Vintage Circus Poster 22"x14" Kelly & Miller Bros. Ocean Springs MississippiAlexander Calder Circus Exhibition Poster Art Vintage Mid Century Modern Mad MenClyde Beatty & Cole Brothers Circus Window Poster Bethlehem Pa. Show TigersAl G. Barnes Wild Animal Circus Poster Circus World Museum 1960Vintage Circus Poster 22"x14" Wilber Nebraska Carson & Barnes 5 Ring Big Top