Circus wardrobe is constructed to be functional for the performer and visually remarkable for the circusgoer, who might be watching the show from a good distance away from the action. The colors pop, the spangles dazzle under the lights, and the design of the costume accentuates the wearer’s movements. From hidden features that secret a crucial piece of equipment upon which the success or failure of an act hinges, to hours of hand-sewing rhinestones meant to sparkle from every angle, to evidence of countless repairs and alterations, each piece of wardrobe has a unique story to tell. The Ueckert Circus Wardrobe Collection consists of roughly two thousand garments and accessories ranging from the late 19th century to more modern costumes from the 1980s. The oldest piece dates as far back as 1889.
Select costumes are available to view online, and more will be added over time.