DescriptionImposing Barnum & Bailey Poster. 28 1/2" x 77 1/2" [sight] two-sheet stone lithographed poster issued to promote the performance of Imre Kiralfy's "Columbus and the Discovery of America". The show was performed in 1892 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The poster does not indicate the venue or date, but we assume that the performance was mounted in conjunction with the Barnum & Bailey circus, as the top and the bottom of the poster reads: "The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. The World's Grandest, Largest and Best Amusement Institution." Imre (1845-1919) and Bolossy Kiralfy (1848-1932) were Hungarian-born dancers and producers of large theatrical spectacles. They began their career in the United States at Niblo's Garden in New York City, producing a revival of "The Black Crook", considered to be the first musical. They followed that with "Around the World in 80 Days". Their shows were noted for gorgeous painted scenery, large casts, impressive dancing and stunning special effects. Eventually, the brothers had a falling out and went their separate ways, continuing to produce spectaculars at outdoor theaters in the U.S. and England.
This poster depicts Columbus, King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella, and as well monuments to Columbus in Madrid, Barcelona, Genoa, Mexico City and Santo Domingo. It includes laudatory comments directed to the great explorer, credited as the "Discoverer" of America. We could locate no other examples at auction. It is in excellent condition and housed in an ornate, Victorian-style frame.
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