Birth of a Clown
In 1947 the International Circus Clowns’ Club began keeping a record of its member clowns’ make-up. Each unique
make-up design was painted onto an emptied chicken egg that was catalogued and used to trademark the identities
of clowns including the famous Coco and Grimaldi. Stan Bult, founder of the club, painstakingly painted the earliest
designs by hand himself. Birth of a Clown is Sam Taylor-Johnson’s photographic documentation of these fascinating
objects, now part of the Clowns’ Gallery and Museum in Somerset. Taylor-Johnson stumbled onto the museum by
chance and has now preserved these eccentric portraits—sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad—in book form.