L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Aerialists, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, circa 1935

I've tried like anything to identify the people in this photograph. I asked G if she recognized anyone. (Believe it or not, her first husband was a professional clown/ringmaster and major circus historian/obsessive, so she learned more about circus history than she ever would have wanted to know.) But she couldn't add anyone beyond the three I eventually identified, myself, The Flying Concellos and "Micky".

At left, Arthur and Antoinette Concello, "The Flying
Concellos". The other gentleman was their "catcher"
at the time, but I haven't been able to find his name.
Antoinette Concello binding her wrists in preparation for a performance.
"The Flying Concellos".
The young woman on the left is German-born Elfriede Fredersdorff, who went by the the name
of "Micky" or "Trapeze Micky", and was a protégée of Antoinette Concello. Two of the other
women in this detail of the group photograph can easily be spotted in the image below, titled
"Queens of the Air", from the same year.

My information on "Micky" was found on her daughter's interesting blog.


The two large groups - click to view full size.


  1. I love vintage group photographs like these -always mesmerized by the 'class groups' and 'company directives' you often find framed in antique stores. Sadly, as you note, most of the names get lost over time. Great reading over on the website of Micky's daughter!

    1. Yes, I enjoyed stumbling upon that website, too. People lead such interesting lives. And not just famous people, not just historical figures. Look at just about anybody's life and there's a great story there - even if they don't see it. And all the millions and millions of old photographs scattered all over the globe, full of images of people, a moment, a fragment of their lives, a bit of the story if only we could know it....

    2. What a pleasant surprise to read about my Mother here on this great blog! Thanks for liking my webpage about mom...you might find some of my other pages (family) interesting as well, in particular the discovery of my (first cousin twice removed) Adolph de Meyer the famed Vogue Photographer...
      Stephen you are an amazing artist and I love how you use the Acrylic paint.

    3. I'm so glad you found this, Delia! I was so happy to find your webpage. I thought it was so wonderful that you were honoring your mother and, at the same time, keeping history alive; I'll definitely delve into it further. You don't happen to know the identities of any of the other people in the large group, do you? I tried to see if your mother was in the second group, the "Queens of the Air", but didn't see anyone I thought was her - you don't see her there, do you?

      Your cousin De Meyer was a great artist. I've certainly featured his work here and will do so again. Thank you so much for the kind words about my art. : )

  2. I'm an intern with the Circus and Allied Arts Collection at Milner Library of Illinois State University. I am happy to say that I can identify the catcher for the Flying Concellos as I'm writing an article on him. His name is Everett White and he was from Bloomington, Illinois.


    1. Thank you so much, Becky! Any other information you can fill in would be much appreciated; I love all the stories that are contained within one single photograph, if we only knew it. : )

    2. Please have a look at the haroldvoise blog and offer any comments in these circus photos from my family..i know some folks I cant identify...
      ..Craig voise

  3. See also the haroldvoise blog on circus history...nearly 300 photos from the same time period...it is because of art concello that these precious family photos exist...Craig Voise