Browse Items (376 total)

domenica corriere.jpg
La Domenica del Corriere titles «Irruption of a she-elephant in a church in Milan" in 1959. Mary escaped from the circus (she was staying with Orfei at that time), and for seven hours runs through the streets of Milan. Here she is drawn as she enters…

dolores mary.png
Dolores, Guglielmo's oldest daughter, takes care of Mary. She is also a tightrope walker and is called "la donna mosca" (the fly woman) because she can walk on a horizontal ladder head-down. Dolores appears in the movie Vendetta di zingara by Aldo…

elephant sign.png
When Mary arrives she becomes the main attraction. The posters reflect it. The family poses in front of the circus, in order: Olimpia, Guglielmo, Zaira, Angelina (aunt), Dolores, Rodolfo e his wife Guerrina, Luigi e Loris, Gabriella and Nadia

Guglielmo is also an equestrian artist. He can jump over ten horses in a row, or three carriages.

Rodolfo Zoppè had a number with his wife Guerrina using a motorcycle. Guerrina was also a white clown, a very unusual role for a woman. “He was ugly but funny. A fabulous clown. It wasn’t necessary to out make up. It was enough for him to speak and…

tre fratelli.png
Zaira (in the center) marries a «fermo» (an immobile), Giuseppe Visentin (in the center), and becomes the reference point for the family. Giuseppe Visentin was a shop owner who falls in love when he sees her performing in the circus. It is not easy…

Mary the Elephant - shipping to Italy.jpg
The year that changes everything is 1948. The director Orson Welles, who was shooting a film in Rome with the participation of Alberto, introduces him to John Ringling North. He is looking for European talents to hire for his Ringling Bros. and…

This was one of the most popular acts for the Zoppè troupe. The act is reproduced in plastic within the exposition of the Ringling Circus at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota.

Ruggera head shot.jpg
Ruggera was a glamorous and smiling athlete.

Ruggera flexing in costume on back lot.jpg
Ruggera shows off her muscles. She was extremely strong and usually bore the weight of other riders in the human pyramid.
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