Circus Poster

oil on Masonite
Mark Descriptions
Signed, l.r.: R. Weaver
28 x 41 in. (Masonite) 33-3/4 x 46-1/2 x 3-3/8 in. (framed)
Credit line
Daniel P. Erwin Fund
Accession number
Not Currently On View
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Robert E. Weaver

Circus Poster

oil on canvas

28 x 41 inches

Daniel P. Erwin Fund

Learn More

Robert Weaver was born in Peru, Indiana and attended the Herron School of art in Indianapolis where he received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in painting.  He studied Fresco painting techniques at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Weaver traveled to Mexico and Europe.  He maintained a studio in New York’s Greenwich Village for two years.  He was the young painter to be awarded the Julius Halgarten for a circus painting shown at the Annual National Academy of design exhibition in New York City.  He also exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Corcoran Biennial, the Carnegie International and the San Francisco World’s Fair.  After returning to Indiana, Weaver served as foreman in a machine company until he received a commission in the U. S. Navy.  He retired from the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant and a year later joined the faculty of the Herron School of Art where he taught painting, mural design, drawing and illustration. Weaver was president of the Circus City Festival, Inc. and piloted a beautification program known as “Operation Facelift” in Peru, Indiana for which he was voted “Man of the Year.”

Weaver’s Peru birthplace was the winter home to most of America’s great circuses.  He spent his free time around circus people and took a job as a ticket taker at a sideshow, so he could become a part of the world he had grown to love.  His favorite painting subject was circus life.  In Circus Poster, a large brick home sits in the distance snow-covered landscape, while a dilapidated wood building is set in the foreground.  The bare trees and darkened sky give the scene an eerie quality.  The circular roadway surrounding the building draws attention to it and its torn circus poster.  The yellow arrow road sign seems to suggest the circus is to the viewer’s right.


The best source for addition information on Robert Weaver is the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Stout Library.