The American circus provided a compelling subject for photographers during the early twentieth century. Such photographers as Frederick W. Glasier, Weegee, and Lisette Model each developed a distinctive photographic language as they documented the sideshow performers, the enthralled audiences, and the back-lot doings of the big top. In this conversation, Peter Kayafas and Luc Sante will discuss how these photographers revealed the public spectacle as well as the private lives of the individuals who worked for the circus.

Peter Kayafas is a photographer and director of the Eakins Press Foundation. He is the publisher of Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier, with an essay by Luc Sante.

Luc Sante
is a writer, critic, and visiting professor of writing and photography at Bard College. He is the author of books including Folk Photography and Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990–2005.