Museums Exhibiting Juggling Props – Part 1

As the owner of the Museum of Juggling History, I share information and photos of items on display in that museum in my eJuggle articles quite often. However, other museums around the world contain important juggling treasures as well. Let’s take a look at some of these.

The Vienna Circus and Clown Museum

The Circus and Clown Museum in Vienna, Austria has a wonderful display of juggling props from Enrico Rastelli, Erich Brenn, Felix Adanos, Frank Eders, Vinicio Chiesa, and several others.

Juggling props in the Vienna Circus and Clown Museum

You can see juggling props on display in the museum starting at the 1:40 mark in the following video.


The Garst Museum

The Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio (USA) is best known for it’s large exhibit on Wild West star Annie Oakley, but it also has a very nice display of props and photos of the Famous Russells, an act that performed impressive hoop, club, and axe juggling as well as knife and axe throwing, in the 1920 and 1930s. One of the members, Osa Osa Vonderhide, is the first known woman to juggle 6 clubs. The exhibit also includes the second oldest set of juggling rings known to exist. Below are photos of the Famous Russells exhibit.


The Museum of Circus Art

Saint Petersburg, Russia is the home of The Museum of Circus Art. It opened in 1928 and is considered the oldest circus museum in the world. It has juggling props and costumes on display from well-known Russian and Soviet jugglers such as Alexander Kiss, Albert Petrovski, and Sergei Ignatov.

Russian juggling props from various jugglers


The Circus Museum of Hvideovre, Denmark

The Circus Museum of Hvideovre, Denmark contains juggling props from the great Danish juggler Bob Ripa.

Bob Ripa props

It also contains props from the Danish juggler Barly, whose personal collection served as the foundation of the museum at its start.



The Swedish Circus Museum

The town of Ingelsträde is the home of The Swedish Circus Museum. There you can see props from father and son jugglers Vittorio and Leonardo Ferroni. You can see some of their props in the video below.


Kelvin Hall

Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland houses some of the oldest juggling props known. They belonged to Old Malabar (1800 – 1883) and include metal balls, a head-worn leather cup, and diabolos.


In Part two, we’ll look at other museum displays around the world that feature juggling props. If you know of some, please feel free to email me.

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 16 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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