Culture
2:22 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Circus Mural Brings Back Memories of Sarasota Stars

What's 42 feet long by 22 feet high and has dozens of peoples and animals on it?  The Greatest Show On Earth, a massive mural by William Woodward.

The Greatest Show On Earth by William Woodward, 1990.

It was commissioned by Feld Entertainment, the company that bought the circus many years ago. And the Feld family decided to donate the mural to Sarasota's Ringling Museum, which is home to a circus museum that houses antique circus carriages and a costume worn by General Tom Thumb, among other things.

Deborah Walk, Tibbals Curator at the Circus Museum, says what's so wonderful about this mural is that it's rooted in Sarasota County. In the center of the mural, you find famed animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, who spent his last days in Venice, Fla.  Also depicted is Lou Jacobs, Ringling's master clown whom circus performers say made more people laugh in live performance than anyone else in history.

Walk says no picture gives you the impact you'd have standing in front of the mural.