Saturday, 6 April 2013

Gracie Doll, Marlene, Ava, Dolly Dimple and Fido

  And another in my series of circus illustrations.

Gracie Doll, Marlene, Ava, Dolly Dimple and Fido  Gouache on pastel paper

    More amazing circus photo inspiration.......

1920's contortionist

  The Doll Family were a quartet of four dwarf siblings from Germany. They were popular circus and sideshow performers in the United States from the 1920s until their retirement in the mid-1950s. I have to say I find this family of performers incredibly fascinating. There isn't very much written about them on the Internet but they toured with the famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus where they sang, danced, and rode horses and wagons for thirty years.

  There is no denying that there are some very dark and sad stories of circus sideshow exploitation but from the small amount I've read about the Schneider family (for a while they adopted the surname Earles after Burt W Earles who discovered them. When Burt passed away they changed it simply to 'Doll') it appears their story was a happy one.

Daisy and Harry both appeared in the 1932 controversial film 'Freaks'

Treasure of a photo! 'The Doll Family' Ringling Brothers Circus 1936



  1. Simply fabulous Sarah, your drawings are exquisite. I have a fascination with the circus and visiting your blog makes want to don a trapeze artist ensemble! The Doll Family were so fascinating, one of us! xx

    1. Thankyou Hannah,

      I think you'd look mighty sensational in a trapeze artist ensemble. xx