Group of Circus Performers | University of Illinois Archives
A group of students, some dressed in racial stereotypes for Asian and native American individuals, are posed for a group phot. They are most likely performers of a sketch in the circus show itself.
The interscholastic circus was an annual spring event where students, under the training of circus coach Carlos Wagner, trained as clowns and performers to put on a university circus show. There were awards presented to different categories focused on clownery, performance, and fraternity/sorority participation. Campus Greek life was integral to these performances every year. This year, 1927, was the 20th anniversary of the interscholastic circus, so certain norms and elements had been well established by then that we now lack the context for.
Due to the volatile nature of nitrate film, the image can be found here:
Copyright Bernard A. Strauch.
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