Birth of a Clown, Clothbound book



  • Steidl, 2013
  • 23.5 x 33.5 cm
  • 50 pages

Birth of a Clown records a collection of unique portraits, which Sam Taylor-Johnson stumbled across by chance in the Clowns Gallery museum in Somerset. In 1947 the International Circus Clowns’ Club began keeping a record of its member clowns’ make-up. Each unique make-up design was painted onto an emptied chicken egg that was catalogued and used to trademark the identities of clowns including the famous Coco and Grimaldi. Stan Bult, founder of the club, painstakingly painted the earliest designs by hand himself. This clothbound book contains 53 photographs of these fascinating objects, at once funny, poignant and enticingly strange.