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PANORAMA OF HUMBUG. No. 1

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The artist parodies the extravagant publicity campaign conducted by showman Phineas T. Barnum for the series of American concerts by Swedish songstress Jenny Lind, which he produced in the autumn of 1850.

On a small platform, beneath a massive banner with the image of Jenny Lind holding a fan and nightingale (a reference to her nickname "the Swedish nightingale"), stand a youth who is half white and half black, a showman, and a man throwing out handbills. The platform is erected outside a ticket office, and sits over a small orchestra pit with musicians blowing wind instruments with the names of several New York newspapers, including the "Tribune, Herald, Express," and "Courier and Enquirer." While a satanic figure to the left beats a drum, the showman shouts to the crowd around him: "Walk of [changed in manuscript to "up"] Ladies & Gentlemen and see the greatest wonder of the age--the Real Swedish Nightingale, the only specimen in the Country."

Inside the ticket office stands Barnum himself, quietly watching from the shadows. His Museum on Broadway can be seen in the background. Jenny Lind's first American concert was given in New York on October 24, 1850. The print, evidently conceived as the first in a series, was deposited for copyright on October 17. Number 2 in the series, entitled "The Second Deluge," is reproduced by Murrell and also pertains to the Jenny Lind tour.

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1700's | 1800-1809 | 1810-1819 | 1820-1829 | 1830-1835 | 1836-1839 | 1840-1843 | 1844-1845 | 1846-1849 | 1850-1855
1856-1859 | 1860 | 1861 | 1862 | 1863 | 1864 | 1865 | 1866-1870 | 1871-1876
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Current Print >> 7 of 74:  1850

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