Steam Circus

The German American Heritage Center is excited to bring a new exhibit for everyone to enjoy, “Steam Circus: The Colorful World of Carousels”! The exhibit will be open from May 13th to October 21st.

Think back to the times spent at the carnival or theme park. Chances are you can smell the buttery popcorn, see the bright colors and lights flashing around you, and hear the high pitch organ music and the hum of machinery. Indeed, the Merry-go-round, or carousel, may be one of the first memories relating to these places of merriment. What would the carnival be without the carousel after all? Indeed, what would the theme park industry be without the German-Americans who helped pioneer the amusement industry?

The exhibit will feature beautiful pieces of art, history, and everyone’s favorite, carousel horses, crafted by the world renowned Dentzel Company and Charles Looff Company. Learn about the mixture of old world craftsmanship and new world technology and engineering. From military origins, to the creation and popularization of theme parks, discover how German Immigrants brought their talents and crafted masterpieces for the sake of entertainment. Come and join us in celebrating these whimsical pieces of entertainment history!

The exhibit will feature a curated collection of carousel history on loan from the Merry-Go-Round museum in Sandusky, Ohio. See the tools, art, and three full size carousel horses from the turn of the century. The exhibit will also proudly display a carousel themed kaleidoscope by renowned local artist Tom Chouteau! Chouteau’s life size kaleidoscope will certainly leave you in awe! There will plenty to explore, learn, and even color in this whimsical exhibit!

Support for Steam Circus provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Steam Circus is also made possible by the Quad City Arts!

The exhibit is included with regular admission to the museum:
$5 for Adults
$4 for Seniors
$3 for Children