THE CIRCUS

An important inclusion in this collection is a series of 27 drawings of circus performers and animals, many of which were shown in a 1983 exhibition, "Acrobats," at the Gotham Book Mart in New York City. These sketches reflect the immediacy of the big top experience; in just a few swift pencil strokes, Cummings effectively captures these fleeting moments. Cummings often carried with him a small sketchbook to record not only poetic fragments but also, more frequently, visual ones. From these rapid yet succinct drawings, one can get a sense of Cummings the observer "moving through the fair," so to speak, caught within the bustle of mid-century life, a keenly attentive witness to, and chronicler of, his time.


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