About the Film
Jack Ofield's 16-mm film shows the work of Henry Duncklee, who retired from his job as a circus sign painter in 1949, and begin building this circus of his own. An article in the Schenectady Gazette - Sep 30, 1983, says "The scene represents the Ringling Brothers Circus around 1915 during the "Gold Era of the Circus". It was built by Hery Dunklee during the 1950s and 1960s and is in one fourth inch scale. The scene, which has been shown on national television (Captain Kangaroo show), depicts the circus grounds about 11am just before the circus begins.
Filmmaker Jack Ofield recalls... "I made "Circus Minimus" in 1977 while at the New York State Museum shooting works in the Hudson River School of Painting. As I was packing up and leaving, I chanced to see the circus model set up and immediately unpacked our equipment, got permission to film and shot the whole thing. "Circus Minimus" aired on "The Short List" series on PBS.
"Henry and Ruth Duncklee lived in Framingham, Mass. and were well known in the circus world for their beautiful model. It appears they toured clubs and schools with the model and also appeared as a side attraction with Ringling Brothers."