We may not have a royal family but hey… we have the Knie family and for us, it’s quite the same. From March 7, 2019 to January 19, 2020, the Textile Museum shows a impressive exhibition with over 90 handcrafted costumes of the Swiss national Circus Knie.

The Circus Knie success story has relied on this magic for over 100 years making it one of the oldest in Europe. They are the country’s most famous artist family who owned the largest Swiss Circus. The circus ring is a magical place… you can smell the popcorn and the animal scent. It’s the home of unforgettable moments.

The Circus Knie dynasty

The historical roots of the Circus Knie go back in 1803: the medical student Friedrich Knie fell in love with a trick horse rider in Innsbruck, quit his studies and joined a group of artists and finally founded the «Knie Circus dynasty».

In 1919, the Circus Knie dynasty made its dream of having its own tent come true and became known as the «Swiss national Circus». Today run by the seventh generation the Circus Knie travels with over 80 animals and 230 staff members and artists from 16 different countries! They own more than 80 camper vans and two special SBB trains and travel around the world. Most of the time they stays only for two days at the same place. They have a own laundry, school, zoo, office and even a fire engine. Circus Knie feels bound by tradition, but is also committed to its modern approach. With a mix of animal acts, clowns, mime acts and acrobatics, it never fails to surprise the audience and this in around 350 performances each year! Today, in the era of social networking Circus Knie’s live experience is real and authentic. Just like in the early days – 100 years ago. More about Circus Knie:www.knie.ch

Circus Knie Fashion

This exhibition presents spectacular costumes from the beginning of the last century to today. Unsurprisingly many of the valuable pieces were conceived by famous costume designers and made from exquisite material.

The Scenography was made by Martin Leuthold, a famous textile designer from St.Gallen. His longtime friendship to the “Clown Pic” and “Clown Dimitri” gave him an insight into this fascination world. Moritz Junge his Co-Curator and Costume designer restored the old private costumes before they being shown in the stage light.

For me, this exhibition is great and absolutely fantastic! I loved the wonderful carpets – especially the one with the big popcorns! I love the colorful light and these elaborately sewn costumes. It’s a magical world and a magical exhibition as well. It puts you back in childhood in a really nice way. The only thing I missed was the popcorn 🙂

And now – go there and enjoy the show! Clear the ring! Let the show begin!


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