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Lot 0001
Johnson, Fred. Freaks Past and Present. Chicago: O'Henry Tent & Awning, ca. 1950. Massive and brightly painted sideshow banner depicts many of the sideshow's most famous acts, including a three-legged man, two-headed man, frog boy, wild man, and others. The images flanked by bright panels of text. Signed by Johnson. 115 x 316". Showing wear, but well-preserved. Fred Johnson (1892 – 1990) is considered the most accomplished sideshow banner painter of the twentieth century. He worked in the carnival and show trade for decades, spending forty years with the O'Henry Tent and Awning Company of Chicago, for whom he created many of the iconic banners associated with the heyday of the sideshow. Johnson had no formal art training, but is frequently referred to as the "Picasso" of circus art. He reportedly painted as many as four banners per day.

Buyer's Premium

  • 25%

Freaks Past and Present.

Estimate $4,000 - $6,000Nov 10, 2018
Auction Curated By:
Gabe Fajuri
Magic Memorabilia Specialist
3759 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Suite 121
Chicago, IL 60613
United States
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