The atmospheric Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury has turned its basement space into a clowns paradise, with an exhibition of costumes and memorabilia.
As a display, it’s a mix of costumes with small notes about a few of them, lots of photos, and for clown aficionados, the eggs.
In the 1930s, Stan Bult started painting clowns faces onto eggs, capturing each clown’s own unique makeup style. It’s a form of trademark for the clowns, and although it stopped when Bult died in 1966, it was restarted in 1985, and now every clown is expected to have their own egg.
There are about 300 eggs in the collection now – a unique record of a form of copyright.
Many of the objects on display come from the Clowns Gallery for Clowns International, the organisation behind the annual Grimaldi Church Service.
Clowns being famous for their oversized clothing, a video shows off the “largest jacket in the world”, which was created for a Stockport arts festival in 2011. It wasn’t a clown’s jacket, but it seems appropriate here.
I was particularly taken by the small case containing small clown thimbles.
It’s a small exhibition, but worth seeking out if you have an interest in anything from fashion to clothing to heritage – oh, and clowns.
The exhibition, DRÔLE: An Exhibition of Rare Clown Costume & Ephemera is at the Horse Hospital until 11th February. Entry is by donation at the desk.
The Horse Hospital is a few minutes walk from Russell Square tube station.
The exhibition is open Tuesday – Saturday 12-6pm. When visiting, push hard on the door, as it can be stiff. If it doesn’t open press the bell to have it unlocked for you.
This article was published on ianVisits
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