Circus Historians

Mr. Arthur Hofmeester

Arthur Hofmeester has several links with classical and new circus. He teaches Circus history at the bachelor level at circus schools AcaPA in Tilburg and Codarts Circus Arts in Rotterdam. A photographer, curator and consultant in the circus area, Mr. Hofmeester has been the Chief editor since 2004 of Circusmagazine De Piste, a monthly circus magazine for The Netherlands and Belgium.


Mr. Antonio Giarola

Antonio Giarola is the director of the Educational Centre of Documentation of Circus Arts (CEDAC - and President of the National Association for the Development of Circus Arts. He has a degree in drama at DAMS in Bologna. Many are his activities related to the circus, street theatre and equestrian arts. He is one of the founders of the Academy of Circus Art in Verona. He has been director and artistic consultant of many circuses, including Herman Renz, the Florilegio of Darix Togni, Embell Riva and Nando Orfei and artistic director of the Verona and Latina circus festivals. He has been a consultant for the Ministry of Culture in Italy. He has been a member of the ECA (European Circus Association) board for five years. He has published several books and many articles about the history of the circus. He has been a member of the jury board in the main circus festivals worldwide, and has been invited as a speaker in international conferences related to the performing arts. He can be reached by mail at


Mr. Charles Ricketts

Mr. Charles Ricketts has been closely associated with circus in one form or other, all his life. He had had an especially close relationship with the Boswell family, for whom he worked for a number of years. Mr. Ricketts published a comprehensive book in 2002 entitled The Boswells. The Story of a South African Circus recording the arrival and beginnings of circus in South Africa, the rivalries, successes, impacts of major world events, and evolution to today’s circus. An avid traveller, Mr. Rickets visited Europe on several occasions from 1960 through 2000, visiting many fine circus shows and bringing his experiences back to South Africa. From 1959 to 1969, Mr. Ricketts resided in the United States, where he worked for a time for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Mr. Mark Valentine St Leon, PhD

Dr Mark St Leon is descended from Australia’s earliest circus – and probably show business - family, the Australian roots of which date from 1847. From inquiries into his family’s rich past in circus, Dr. St Leon pioneered the study of Australia’s circus history and is now the internationally-recognised authority on the subject. His book, Circus: The Australian Story was published by Melbourne Books in May 2011. Dr. St. Leon presently works as a freelance university lecturer in Sydney in the field of international business education. He is the author of numerous monographs and articles on Australia’s circus history and has written biographical entries for eight circus identities for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. He has written an extensive entry of circus in Sydney for the online Dictionary of Sydney which can be viewed at Dr. St Leon lives in Sydney with his wife Jian and daughters Heidi and Janna. He can be reached by email at

Mr. Greg Parkinson

Greg Parkinson is the Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, a State agency that and operates one of the largest and most significant library/archives in North America, as well as 25 other museums, historic sites and research centers, including Circus World Museum in Baraboo. He worked at Circus World Museum for 24 years, serving as Executive Director from 1985-2001. At Circus World, he directed each annual edition of the circus performance, the illusion shows, and the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee. He served on Prince Rainier III’s jury at the 1997 International Festival du Cirque de Monte Carlo. Mr. Parkinson has been following circuses for more than 50 years, and has published numerous circus history articles.

Mr. Julio Revolledo Cárdenas

Julio Revolledo Cárdenas, a member of the fifth generation of a prominent Mexican circus family – the Suárez brothers, spent his childhood in a theater alongside his father's family to the circus. As an adult, he served as Deputy Administrator of the Esqueda Brothers Circus and later was engaged by the Suarez Brothers Circus. In November 2009, Mr. Revolledo served as curator of the museum exhibition 200 years of circus images in the National Arts Centre of Mexico City. Pursuing his interests in circus history and following numerous publications, Mr. Revolledo published his Masters’ thesis, The Elegant Equestrian Circus in the XIX Century in Mexico, in 2010. He is currently Director of the Bachelor of Circus Arts at Mesoamericana University in Puebla, where he has taught four courses on different periods of circus history. He has lectured on the circus from a historical, aesthetic and theoretical in the United States, Canada, Spain, China, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Cuba and Peru, and various Mexican cities.