Ceremonial opening: January 11, 2024, 12:00
Venue: Budapest, City Park, Vajdahunyad Castle, Museum of Hungarian Agriculture
11 January to 29 February 2024, Tuesday to Sunday, every day 10:00–17:00
Capital Circus of Budapest,
Museum, Library and Archives of Hungarian Circus Arts
Our collaborative partner: Museum of Hungarian Agriculture
Poster from the collection of the Museum, Library and Archives of Hungarian Circus Arts.
11 January 2024 will also be a celebration of circus performing arts and circus science in Budapest's City Park, when we open our major international exhibition on circus history.
The exhibition of the 15th Budapest International Circus Festival will bring together for the first time Hungarian artist dynasties, special artist relics and stories, historical documents of Hungarian world number circus productions, as well as important works of circus art and film.
The exhibition will provide an opportunity to meet the most outstanding foreign collectors, collections and museums of the international circus heritage, as well as to gain insight into the collections and scientific work of the Museum, Library and Archives of Hungarian Circus Arts.
The visible wonders of the circus world will be accompanied by a wealth of hands-on experiences: a 100-year-old carousel, museum education games, virtual tightrope walking and group circus education, so that anyone can discover their hidden talents as an artist – or even as a circus museologist.
↦Kazakh State Circus Museum (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
↦Museum of Yu. V. Nikulin (Moscow, Russia)
↦Circus Art Museum (Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
↦Circus Archive Roncalli (Köln, Germany)
↦Centro Educativo Arti Circensi di Verona (Verona, Italy)
↦Museo Didattico Circense Italiano (Rimini, Italy)
↦Musée du cirque Gilles Maignant (Levens, France)
↦Musée Émilien Bouglione (Paris, France)
↦Circus Archive of Cor Martens (Aarle-Rixtel, Holland)
↦Circus- & Clownmuseum Wien (Wien, Austria)
↦Archive Collection of Circus Krone (Munich, Germany)
↦Dorotea e Roberto Fazzini Archivio Storico Del Circo (Modena, Italy)
A konferencia bárki számára nyitott, a részvételhez előzetes regisztráció nem szükséges.
A konferencián angol, francia, német, orosz és magyar szinkrontolmácsolást biztosítunk..
Szeretettel várjuk Önöket a konferencián!
A szervezők nevében:
Fekete Péter, a Nemzeti Cirkuszművészeti Központ főigazgatója, a Budapest Nemzetközi Cirkuszfesztivál szervezőbizottságának elnöke,
Joó Emese, a Magyar Cirkuszművészeti Múzeum, Könyvtár és Archívum vezetője,
Kerülő Tünde, a Magyar Cirkuszművészeti Múzeum, Könyvtár és Archívum kiállítási menedzsere,
Horthy Andrea, a Nemzeti Cirkuszművészeti Központ mentorprogram vezetője,
Sándor András, a Nemzeti Cirkuszművészeti Központ oktatási programvezetője
The Circus Museum was opened in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of the Kazakh State Circus. The initiators were the luminaries of the troupe, who are still working today, passing on knowledge and experience to the younger generation. There are currently more than 300 exhibits in the museum's collection, including both ancient and modern circus relics. These are equipment, costumes, posters, photographs, documents, personal belongings.
“The exposition of our museum is constantly supplemented with new exhibits demonstrating the achievements of our team. The work of the museum is important and interesting for visitors, introducing circus art and the history of the circus.”
The exhibition "Nikulin 100" developed by the Circus and Mercy Public Charitable Foundation for assistance to circus artists reveals several facets of Yuri Nikulin's unique personality. He managed to realize all his numerous talents: he invented scripts, wrote books, composed songs, hosted TV programs, collected collections, built, painted, invented, was a great storyteller, a good family man, a reliable friend...
His life was filled with a colossal amount of good deeds! Yuri Vladimirovich said: "I have my own concept of happiness. If each of us can make another person happy – at least one person – everyone on earth will be happy!" He gave people so much warmth and attention that his generosity and good deeds are legendary to this day! Presented unique materials selected from the archives of Nikulin's family, friends, colleagues, Moscow Circus Nikulin on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Cinema Concern "Mosfilm", the Public Charitable Foundation of Yuri Nikulin "Circus and Charity”.
Circus posters are of great value for the museum collection, because it is easy to learn about the time, place and character of circus action from a poster. Its best examples always reflect the aesthetics and artistic style of a certain period.
The museum collection of domestic and foreign posters began to be collected from the 3rd day of the Museum's foundation. By now the collection of posters amounts to more than 8,000 items. The collection of Leningrad-St. Petersburg posters reflects in detail the creative life of the circus from the mid-1920s.
In the 1950s, the leadership of the Soviet circus was concerned about the artistic quality of circus posters. The problems of advertising were discussed on the pages of the magazine "Soviet Circus" by artists, art historians. In those days, the Leningrad Circus produced over 50 original posters with a total circulation of over 150,000 per season. They were created by artists M. Gordon, T. Bruni, E. Liskovich, V. Nikonenko, G. Berman and others.
The posters of recent times, collected in the Museum, are noticeably distinguished from their predecessors by the aesthetics dictated by new technical possibilities.
Thanks to the Museum collection it is possible to trace the evolution of the circus poster as a work of fine art and the evolution of the circus spectacle itself, expressed as a number or a whole performance.
Some collectors collect purely for the sake of having, for themselves, to enjoy having something that others desire. There are collectors who collect to preserve valuables. Roncalli founder Bernhard Paul is one of them.
Bernhard Paul's Circus Museum is unique: whether it is the legacy of perhaps the world's most famous clown, Grock, or the world's largest collection of Friedländer (circus posters), Bernhard Paul is the custodian of Europe's largest collection of circus and variety theatre. These exhibits are currently on display in a travelling exhibition – but the collection will soon be open to the public in a museum.
The workshop team at the Circus-Theatre Roncalli's winter residence in Cologne will ensure that the treasures of the collection are always shining and ready for use. Here, not only the old collection items are restored, but also the sets for each show in the Roncalli tent and the Roncalli Apollo Varieté.
The collection of the Roncalli Circus Museum is currently under the care of Vivian Paul, who has selected circus costumes from the rich collection for the Budapest exhibition.
The main theme of the exhibition will concern cinema, specifically Italian movies or foreign films distributed in Italy and some of its most significant protagonists, such as Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale, performers respectively in Trapeze (1956) and Circus World (1964), Fellini with La Strada (1954).
Some curiosities about these movies. Trapeze was filmed at the Cirque d'Hiver in Paris, directed by Carol Reed, and for the filming the actress Gina Lollobrigida was replaced by several acrobats: Sally Marlowe for the trapeze, Adriana Arriola for the trampoline jumps and Sandrine Bouglione for the rope. While in Circus World Rita Hayworth's stunt double in the final number of the 100 vaults was Maryse Begary.
In the past, in the involvement of circus artists in film productions as stand-ins for famous actors was very widespread, and at other times ferocious beasts were requested from circuses to be used in historical or commemorative films as in the case of peplums.
There were three films that Fellini dedicated to the world of the circus, La Strada (1954), with Anthony Quinn, 8 ½ (1963) and I Clowns (1970), a film in which the director tries to capture the substance of the human experience. Fellini was probably one of the greatest interpreters of the circus world, managing to concentrate different feelings, aspirations and ideas in the image of the circus.
„The selected materials tries to provide a window on the topic of circus cinema. This is a very vast topic, object of a specific literature. For the occasion was limited to the most emblematic Italian and foreign film productions distributed in Italy. For this exhibition, posters were selected, more specifically cinematographic posters, photographs, film programs, illustrations, articles and authorial illustrations graphics that allow us to address the topic from different points of view. These are typologically different documents that testify to the richness and diversity of the collections preserved at CEDAC; that as a Documentation Centre deals with collecting any form of cultural testimony dedicated to the world of Italian and international circus. For each film production, Trapeze, Circus World and the various films by Fellini, a short exhibition has been set up that illustrates the topic through various historical documents."
The story of the Casartellis is the story of a great dynasty of artists, with roots dating back to 1863. The Casartelli dynasty began with Giuseppe Casartelli, a gymnast from Como, one of whose descendants, Umberto Casartelli, married Eleonora Gerardi, known to all as Rosina. They started the great circus family to which Medrano's glory is still entrusted today.
1972 was a turning point in the life of the Casartelli circus: the Casartellis made their debut in Varese with the "Circo Medrano", a large circus accompanied by a huge zoo: a giant gorilla, several elephants, horses, zebras, camels, an orangutan, a white rhinoceros and two magnificent giraffes. Since then, the Medrano has become famous for the richness of its shows and its responsible animal acts, which have been applauded on numerous occasions at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival and have won prestigious prizes.
On 24 July 2022, the Italian Museum of Circus Art Studies was inaugurated in Fiabilandia Park in Rimini. The Casartelli family, and Davio Casartelli in particular, had long dreamed of creating a circus museum. He had a strong desire to tell the story of the Italian and world circus to anyone who had the time and the desire to better understand the circus, an ancient art that can still bring moments of celebration to the whole family.
"This is a project that we have been thinking about for some time", notes Fabrizio Grandi, Honorary President of the Museum, "and it is finally coming to fruition. With the museum, knowledge of the circus world will be enhanced thanks to a collection of models, costumes, props, posters, documents and memorabilia. We hope that circus art will never fade away, because it has always been of great value for the cultural heritage of our country and the whole world."
Circus costumes have come a long way over the years. Initially designed with few sequins, they quickly evolved thanks to a major Parisian fashion house that revolutionized clown costumes: the Maison Vicaire. Gérard Vicaire designed such beautiful clown costumes that artists vied with each other in their best clothes to light up the ring. Vicaire became so famous that people no longer said, "to wear a circus costume" but "to wear a Vicaire". His work is recognizable among thousands, and this is what makes these pieces so valuable today, preserved in the most prestigious museums. The diversity of colors, the detail of the embroidery, the shapes of these circus tunics are all part of the magic of the show. Visitors to this exhibition will be able to marvel at the very essence of a circus show, through the various costumes taken from the prestigious Gilles Maignant’s Circus Museum.
The Gilles Maignant Circus Museum is located in the village of Levens, 25 km from Nice and 45 km from the Monte Carlo international circus festival. It houses one of the most important private collections of circus arts, with over 50,000 objects (posters, postcards, programs, artists' materials and 350 costumes, including over 70 white clown costumes). Its policy is to safeguard the world's circus heritage, restore the works and share them at prestigious exhibitions around the world.
The Émilien Bouglione Museum is located in the heart of the Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione in Paris, the oldest circus in the world. When he was very young, Émilien Bouglione realized that the history of circus arts and the emblematic monument needed both to be preserved. He therefore began to gather objects that were due to be thrown away or, worse still, destroyed. He developed a unique collection and passed it on to his son Louis-Sampion Bouglione who has been in charge of it and enriching it for more than 20 years.
Preserving and maintaining a family collection is a challenge requiring daily attention. The traditional circus is a question of transmission, of knowledge which is handed down from generation to generation. The objects of this collection remind us of all the artists and workers who have handled them, and all the audiences who have seen them. Thus, their memories still live on. They will never be forgotten.
“I saw the first circus of my life, Circus Kinsbergen, in my small town, and after that I visited several circuses in my area. But the Toni Boltini Circus was the first real big circus, which I visited with my uncle in 1972! Later I attended the Rancy Circus, Bouglione Winter Circus, Carl Althoff Circus, and many other circuses. To this day I visit many circuses every year.
Initially, my friend Frans Cuypers helped me to collect circus items, and that's how I started my collection. Slowly I got to know several collectors with whom I exchanged circus objects, one of them was Rob Mulder. My collection now includes 12,000 different circus programme booklets, over 10,000 posters, books, flyers, tickets, and about 300 circus maquettes.
My wife Anja also loves the circus, but not as much as I do. We travel a lot in Europe in our caravan. We are also friends with many artists and other circus people and our house is always open to them. Our daughter works as a truck driver and works in the festival world, she also worked for Cirque du Soleil in Brazil. I work for Dienst Wegverkeer (commonly known as RDW).”
Cor Martens has generously donated dozens of international circus posters to the collection of the Hungarian Circus Art Museum, Library and Archive. The exhibition presents 13 pieces from this collection of posters.
The Circus & Clown Museum Vienna has its origins in the private collection of the Viennese writer and editor Heino Seitler, who went public with his first clown museum in 1927. Over the years, the collection has grown into a remarkable collection through the voluntary work of our employees and through numerous loans and purchases by our cultural association. Since 1968, the operation of the museum has also been supported by the City of Vienna. The museum is run by historian and educator Michael Swatosch. He is supported by Christoph Enzinger and Andreas Swatosch.
“Our research methodology draws on a wide range of sources. These include historical records, often personal ones from artists, research in archives, newspaper interviews, etc. We also regularly conduct interviews with artists as part of so-called “artist get-togethers” and thereby gain valuable insights. In addition to the usual collection items such as costumes, props, photos and posters, we also collect visual media and document digital resources. The processing of various media formats is therefore a focus of our work and is the basis of our research and communication work. We try to make the presentation of our exhibits as interactive and experience-oriented as possible. Traditional exhibition methods are combined with modern technologies. Events complement the offering and offer visitors a unique experience.”
The history of one of the world's largest circuses began a good 150 years ago, when Carl Krone senior (1833-1900) owned the travelling menagerie known as the Continental. Around 1870, he exhibited brown bears and wolves at fairs, and in 1883 it was called the "Krone Animal Show". Under the management of Carl Krone Jr. (1870-1943), the Krone Circus grew into a giant circus. His tours to many European countries, especially between the two world wars, established his reputation outside his native Germany. Winter circus performances have also been held regularly in the permanent circus building of the Kronebau in Munich since 1919.
Christel Sembach-Krone, the fourth generation of the Krone family to run the legendary institution, has been in charge since 1995, after the death of her parents Carl Sembach (1908-1984) and Frieda Sembach-Krone (1915-1995), who had previously run the circus. A renowned horse trainer, he performed with his troupes between 1956 and 2006, including elephants and giraffes.
Since 20 June 2017, Jana Mandana Lacey-Krone has been the manager of the world's largest travelling circus, and Christel Sembach-Krone, the grand dame of the circus, has personally and intensively prepared her adopted daughter throughout her life for the role of manager, entrepreneur, and animal trainer.
In addition to the costumes of Christel Sembach-Krone (1936-2017) and Martin Lacey Jr. (lion tamer), the exhibition also includes two older Krone Circus posters and a real rarity, the Hungarian-language newsreel posters of the Krone Circus's 1930s visit to Hungary.
In the 1970s the Italian circus went through one of its heydays. Various were the super productions that will still remain in circus history today.
Liana, Nando, and Rinaldo Orfei presented Circo Rama, for the first time the numbers were presented in the setting of splendid background footage. Next, they presented the Circus of a Thousand and One Nights with lavish costumes and parades and choreography created by Gino Landi the television choreographer.
„Enis, Bruno, and Willy Togni presented the American Circus. Three rings, large parades, a mammoth elephant act, 60 horses and three acts simultaneously on the three rings.
Darix Togni presented Circus in the Water. A first part of traditional circus and the second part with the runway completely made of water.
Leonida Casartelli with his Circo Medrano had in tow one of the largest traveling zoos in Europe among which the famous Katanga gorilla stood out.
Moira Orfei already very famous as an actress created the Circus on Ice. A show du two rinks, one normal and one ice. In short, all fabulous shows of the highest quality.
The exhibition presents a selection of 6 posters and souvenirs from the collection of the "Dorotea e Roberto Fazzini Archivio Storico Del Circo".