- Historic Sites
Errand Of Mirth
April/may 1981 | Volume 32, Issue 3
Few circus people can have done their work in such an unlikely context as these members of Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey. The whole troupe—clowns and elephants, hareback riders and acrobats—has made its way across town from the vast pale-red auditorium of New York City’s Madison Square Garden to mount the show in the courtyard formed by wings C and D of Bellevue Hospital. Between 1910 and 1950 the circus assembled annually under these grim walls to offer the inmates its riotous diversions. A nurse named Olivia Stuart Davis took in the 1919 visit and kept this picture as a souvenir; her granddaughter, Kristen Huntley, sent it to us.