Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB


Fascinated by the circus and vaudeville, Walt Kuhn turned to the world of popular entertainment for much of his subject matter. In the 1940s, he possessed a press pass to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which granted him backstage access during performances at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Kuhn’s portraits of performers and clowns, usually seated before a plain background, reveal an intense psychological complexity not often associated with the world of entertainment.

Walt Kuhn
American, 1877‒1949
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Charles Simon, 79.110

Large image not available.