November 26, 2014 - RISD Museum - Manual Issue 3: Circus
November 26, 2014

Manual Issue 3: Circus

Manual Issue 3: Circus
Fall 2014

RISD Museum
224 Benefit Street
Providence, RI 02903

T +1 401 454 6500

The third issue of Manual turns a spotlight on the circus. “How can a circus be held in print?” you may ask. Indeed, prepare to be astounded. You’ll find tumbling acrobats, unsettling sideshows, ferocious beasts, fantastical costumes, and entrancing feats of grace and strength within these pages, we assure you, but perhaps not in ways you would expect. Step up and let the spectacle unfold before you. 

From the files / Archivist Andrew Martinez discusses costumed balls at RISD, and being anything that you are not.

Double takes / Curator Gina Borromeo and performance studies scholar Rebecca Schneider marvel over an ancient Roman gaming piece; French studies professor Thangam Ravindranathan and artist Gwen Strahle train their gazes on Edy-Legrand’s Crowd at the Circus; printmaker Daniel Heyman and historian Susan Smulyan present for your enjoyment an early circus poster (oversized foldout).

Object lessons / Mellon fellow Alison W. Chang puts “otherness” on display in Max Beckmann’s Annual Fair. Michelle Clayton, comparative literature scholar, draws out possible hidden meanings in Tissot’s portrayal of glamorous Parisian charioteers. 

Portfolio / Remarkable pairings to delight and edify. 

How to / Art historian Ellen McBreen goes behind the scenes, explaining the story behind Matisse’s white elephant.

Artist on art / A limited-edition poster of Jim Drain’s elephant is yours to have and to hold.

To purchase a copy of Manual: Circus, visit

A journal about art and its making, a twice-yearly publication, uses the collections, exhibitions, and collaborations of the RISD Museum as an impetus for essays and interviews, artist interventions, and archive highlights. A fusion of academic arts journal and design magazine, Manual is a resource for engaged conversations about art, design, and the impact of creative making by curators, artists, scholars, and educators.

RISD Museum Director: John Smith
Manual Editor-in-chief: Sarah Ganz Blythe with S. Hollis Mickey
Editor: Amy Pickworth
Graphic designers: Derek Schusterbauer and Colin Frazer
Photography: Erik Gould
Printer: Meridian Printing ISSN 2329-9193

About the RISD Museum
Southeastern New England’s only comprehensive art museum, the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design—also known as the RISD Museum—was established in 1877. Its collection of more than 92,000 objects includes paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume, furniture, and other works of art and design from all over the world, from ancient times to the latest in contemporary art.


RISD Museum presents Manual Issue 3: Circus
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