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Thomas Ball, 3 Jun 1819 - 11 Dec 1911
Modern Art Foundry
P. T. Barnum, 5 Jul 1810 - 7 Apr 1891
With Socle: 77.5 x 63.5 x 38.1cm (30 1/2 x 25 x 15")
Socle footprint: 24.1 x 24.1cm (9 1/2 x 9 1/2")
P. T. Barnum: Male
P. T. Barnum: Performing Arts\Performer\Showman
P. T. Barnum: Performing Arts\Circus owner
P. T. Barnum: Society and Social Change\Administrator\Cultural organization administrator\Museum
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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Born Bethel, Connecticut
Showman Phineas T. Barnum opened the curtain on modern mass entertainment. He dazzled in the era before technology facilitated the broadcasting of performance—just before the advent of the recording, radio, and motion picture industries; before the rise of the advertising industry; before the mass distribution of photography in the new rotogravure sections of the Sunday newspapers. Yet Barnum still succeeded with such orchestrated events as the introduction of the diminutive General Tom Thumb in the 1840s, the American tour of songbird Jenny Lind in 1850–51, and the creation, in 1881, with James Bailey, of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.