The Clown & the Showgirl
Photographs by Harry A. Atwell, essay by Rodney Huey
"Harry Atwell clearly understood the world of the circus, both inside the rings and behind the Big Top tent. The innocent attraction he projected through his photographs of the showgirl and the clown is reminiscent of the fabled 'beauty and the beast' myth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opposing headshots of the clown and the showgirl on the back cover of this publication. But with the circus, the clown will forever remain the alienated Other, never reverting back into a worldly prince, and always destined to watch the showgirl ride off into the sunset with a handsome suitor.
Perhaps this is why the clown, with its innocent affectations and a simpleton's heart, captures our fascination and sparks our imagination like no other circus artist. In this sense, the lowly clown becomes the true 'lord of the rings.'"