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Monday, June 4, 2012

A spectular nineteenth century lithograph by America's leading circus poster producer


The Strobridge Litho. Co., publishers
THE BARNUM & BAILEY, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
Color lithograph
Cincinnati, Ohio 1896
Image 26 1/2 x 73 inches
$9,500

The Cincinnati, Ohio firm of Strobridge Lithographing Company specialized in printing for the major American circuses of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.   It's work was widely acclaimed for its dramatic imagery, brilliant colors and superb production quality.  The forerunner to the Strobridge company was formed in 1847. In 1854, Hines Strobridge joined the company and in 1867 the company became Strobridge & Company. In 1880, the company changed its name to the Strobridge Lithographing Company and began to specialize in printing for the circus and theater industries.  This magnificent poster for Barum & Bailey's "Greatest Show on Earth" is a masterful example of the firm's pre-eminence in the field.

This poster  was formerly the property of a Prominent New York Institution.   Posters by the Strobridge company are the central focus of a new exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum of Art: The Amazing American Circus Poster.  

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