Doc Weitzel’s Curiosity Show in Gettysburg, PA, run by my friend Ken Weitzel and his family, is home to some of the exhibits from Baltimore’s now defunct Dime Museum as well as many other new and historical oddities.
I met Ken through the Playa Del Fuego community, when he asked me if I’m of any relation to P.T. Barnum of circus history (the answer is yes, I am, very distantly), and we’ve been discussing several different collaborations. There’s a possibility that the museum will be hosting an exhibition of some of my illustrative portraits, focusing on P.T. Barnum and some of the performers he is associated with, later this year.
Ken recently encountered the opportunity to purchase the famous Ringling Bros. unicorn:
Here he is, although he’s not quite so alive now as in the photo:
In the end, he couldn’t afford to buy him, but he was able to buy a different, similar stuffed unicorn from another source.
However, unicorns are still expensive, so he’s soliciting donations from friends of the museum to help offset the cost of the purchase. I’ve illustrated a poster about the unicorn, and am offering prints of it to help with the fund raising, because I think Ken’s museum is so cool, and I love unicorns.
Artistic notes: The unicorn was illustrated by hand in pen & ink and watercolor. The text was also all hand-illustrated based on historical text samples, but was colorized and arranged digitally in Photoshop.
If you purchase one of these prints, 50% of the purchase price will be donated to Doc Weitzel’s Curiosity Show.
An 8.5″ x 11″ print is available for $20, and an 11″ x 17″ print is available for $40. Those prices include domestic first class shipping. Prints will be signed by the artist. I can accept Paypal payments, or check or money order. Please contact me at joanna at joannabarnum dot com to place an order.
Full disclosure: After the 50% donation to the museum, and the cost of producing and shipping the prints, I’m still making a bit of money off of these myself. What kind of Barnum would I be if I wasn’t? However, if you’re not interested in owning a poster, and just want to donate directly to the museum, you are certainly welcome to and can contact Ken at the museum’s Facebook page.
Also, if you’re in the area, go check out the museum when it opens for the season!