Exhibit TypePermanent Exhibit
Exhibit LocationUpper Level: The Lighter Side
DisplaysMain Street Circus Parade, Under the Big Top, Circus Life, Show on Rails, The Bottin Elephants, and Historic Wagons
Models by Richard Natvig
While the “Natvig Brothers Circus” is a fictional name, this exhibit is comprised of thoroughly- researched and meticulously-fashioned scale models of historic circus companies by local woodcarver, model maker, and circus aficionado, Richard Natvig. One display, “Main Street Circus Parade”, is a 23-foot long diorama depicting circus wagons, animals and performers parading against a backdrop of New Hampton’s Main Street in about 1910. Another large action-packed diorama, “Under the Big Top”, portrays three rings and two stages of circus acts, a side show, wagons, the band and audience, as well as numerous circus personalities.
Two smaller displays focus on specific aspects of circus life. “Cookhouse” shows the wagons and equipment needed to prepare meals for circus performers and staff while “The Bottin Elephants” (named for another artifact donor) illustrates the essential roles elephants played in operation of a traveling show. A highly prized Louis Marx “Ring-a-Ling Circus” ring master stands by, ready to set the scene in motion. Additional wagons and vehicles aboard a large-scale circus train are presented on overhead shelving and spill into the Toy Town exhibit as well.
Authentic circus ephemera and vintage photos cover the walls adding to the aura and appeal of this exceptional exhibit.