Permanent exhibition

Why is the circus so amazing?

In the circus, the sky is the limit, living a life in the circus is quite unique. You will experience this first-hand in our exhibition, which is filled with films, props, costumes, and other impressions from the world of the circus and artistry. The ventriloquist Peter Nørgaard and his dog Charlie are ready to greet you on the screens and guide and entertain you through the exhibition.

The greates clown of all

In the permanent exhibition, you will experience film clips with some of the greatest and funniest clowns and comedians from the circus ring. Among others, you can experience one of the most famous clowns in the world, Charlie Rivel, whose square red nose and bald head cap are part of the exhibition. You can also feast your eyes on bespoke clown shoes from one of the most famous clowns of today, BonBon the clown.

Lifting a horse with your teeth, is that even possible?

Yes, very much so. In our permanent exhibition, you can learn about the artist Pierre Hoffland lifted a horse and rider with his teeth. We have his bit, which was used to elevate the horse from the ground. You can also be blown away by an amazing balancing act performed by The Simets, where Laszlo and his wife Olga drove a motorcycle on a steel wire, 21 metres in the air. One of Simet’s motorcycles used for the balancing act is also part of the exhibition.

Why are the costumes so special in the circus?

Beautiful dresses from circus artists such as Paulina Schumann, Katja Schumann, Diana Benneweis; a costume all the way from China worn by Wong Ko Lian; a rose dress worn by the equestrian acrobat Miss Zephora; and handsome suits worn by Albert Schumann, Benny Berdino or LeePeeVille are also all part of the exhibition. Among these costumes it is easy to get overwhelmed by the colours, sequins and all the beautiful details that make each costume stand out and grab our attention. Attention-grabbing is one of the main purposes of the costumes.

Are you a mind reader?

Magic and illusions also play a big part of our exhibition. You can experience everything from old magic props from Edmund Renk to a film with the magician Jørgen Samson who made a total of 42 kg of different kinds of objects (e.g. flowers and tables) suddenly appear out of his own clothes. You may also be let in on the secret behind one of the most famous and controversial magicians, Truxa, performed his world famous mind-reading act with his wife, Gulli. Their performance made the papers and sparked general public interest. Is it even possible to read other people’s thoughts, or is is just cheating?

“Complete satisfaction or your loss”

That is the famous expression stated by the carny king Professor Tribini, when he was trying to usher visitors into his variety theatre. In our exhibition, you can learn about Tribini and his colleague Arne Berdino, as well as look at some of his funny props, such as his bladder fiddle and street organ. Another star in the world of variety and carnevals was the untalented Miss Florens, who found her place in the world here. You can experience her unique dancing and singing in the exhibition as well as see some of her costumes.

What is life in the circus actually like?

It’s quite special travelling almost every single day of the year, being with your parents in the small but global village that is the circus. How it feels being a child in the circus is something you can learn about in our permanent exhibition through films and stories about some of the oldest and greates circus families that still exist: Arli and Berdino. Especially for kids and everyone interested, there is a special surprise in this part of the exhibition.

Why do you perform in the circus?

Wealth and fame are not the key reasons for artists and performers. In our exhibition, you can listen to the artist Benny Schumann, the juggler and variety performer Jon G. Lør, and the contemporary circus performer Ylva Maia Havdrup, sharing their personal driving forces behind performing acts that require both courage and many hours’ practice.

An arse in the circus, come again?

Contemporary circus is a genre in itself. In this genre, artistry is used to tell stories, often with elements of the absurd, the grotesque, and the ironic. So, it is perfectly normal to have a life-like arse walking on two legs as part of the performance. Lots of different films and some of the very unique contemporary circus props are all part of the exhibition.

Why do you have a stetson in the exhibition?

That specific hat belonged to the charismatic circus director Eli Benneweis, and it’s one of the first items you lay your eyes on when arriving in the foyer. Beside the stetson is an amazing poster from Cirkus Renz, which was the biggest circus in Europe in the middle of the 19th century.

Activities as part of the exhibition

If you wish to have an even more special time while looking at our exhibition, you can enquire at the counter for a special activity aimed primarily at children. The activity prompts you to go on a treasure hunt to discover the different parts of the exhibition in a fun and different manner. Of course, it is also possible to book a tour or presentation to listen to some of the amazing stories of the exhibition.

We look forward to seeing you!