This mosaic is on the Victorian Arts Centre in St Kilda Road and commermorates the fact that the site used to be where circus ib Melbourne started. The plaque is to recognise that from 1907 – 1953 Wirth Brothers’ Circus had the permanent headquarters at the site yet their were circuses on the site before the start of the 20th century. In 1877 the famous Bailey and Cooper circus from North America toured Australia and briefly set up on the site, as did the FitzGerald Circus.
In 1907 Wirth’s set up residence on the banks of the Yarra to establish Australia’s first permanent circus site. There’s not terribly much information on Wirth’s circus, perhaps because it was disbanded in 1963. At one stage it was Australia’s biggest circus but unlike it’s contemoraries like Ashton’s, Wirth’s did not last long after the debut of television.
For more about Wirth’s Circus click on the links.
Information on the Wirth’s Circus Film is here.
Information on the documentary The Circus Comes To Town is here.
Information on the documentary Behind The Big Top is here.
Information on Phillip Wirth is here.
Information on George Wirth is here.