100 Years Swiss National Circus Knie
National Circus Knie, as it is of cially known, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The company, which is regarded as an institution by people all over Switzerland, has often used magni cent posters to generate publicity.
This tradition takes the spotlight on the sheetlet of eight stamps featuring two of Circus Knie’s most famous posters: the creations by graphic designer Herbert Leupin (1916–1999) and artist Hans Erni (1909–2015), whose poster art won acclaim well beyond national borders.
The history of Circus Knie dates back to 1803, when Friedrich Knie, an Austrian doctor’s son, fell in love with a circus artist... and the lifestyle of a circus artist. This marked the start of one of the world’s most famous circus dynasties. The Swiss National Circus gave its premiere per- formance on 14 June 1919 on the Schützen- matte in Berne.
In 2011, the company was awarded the “Prix du bilinguisme”. The jury wanted to pay tribute to an institution which has long bridged the gap between the different language regions of Switzerland by pro- viding performers with a national platform that they would be unlikely to nd else- where. Examples include Marie-Thérèse Porchet and Emil Steinberger.