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Albina Felski
The Circus
48 x 48 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Trapeze artists, roller skating bears, and a leopard tamer are just a few of the remarkable acts in Felski's circus. A Canadian who immigrated to Chicago, she began painting in 1960, after working for twenty-seven years in an electronics factory. Her animals—those in the circus as well as deer, mountain goats, and other wild creatures—were often inspired by photographs her brothers took in their native British Columbia.