Go to the Circus With Robert Andrew Parker

Robert Andrew Parker turns 86 today!  To celebrate his birthday, Modern Graphic History Library is going to the circus.


Circus of the Wolves, p. 8.

Many of Parker’s circus-themed illustrations can be found in the 1994 children’s book, Circus of the Wolves by Jack Bushnell.  Parker’s illustrations bring to life the story of a timber wolf named Kael.  After falling into a pit, Kael is discovered by circus workers, who capture the wolf and add him to their pack of performing wolves.

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Circus of the Wolves, p. 18.

Kael learns how to perform tricks and entertain the crowds while traveling with the circus for a year.  He then discovers a way he can return to the wild, and must decide if he really wants to leave this new life and the trainer he has grown to trust.

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Circus of the Wolves, p. 13.

In addition to the book illustrations, Parker has created other circus-themed works.

You can’t have a circus without clowns …

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Girl with clown, date unknown

Or a flying trapeze …

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Trapeze artists on postcard, February 1949.

To learn more about Robert Andrew Parker and the Robert Andrew Parker collection, check out our Finding AidCircus of the Wolves is available to read in Modern Graphic History Library’s reference section.

Happy Birthday Robert!

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.