Caricature artists have long been a part of fairs and parks, offering a unique custom souvenir from a day of fun. Theme parks picked up on this art form often featuring several styles of caricature drawings.
|For the 1976 season,
Great Adventure added the Portrait Artists caricature stand to the Dream
Street area of the park near the Carousel. What started out as a
temporary pop-up concession stand soon became a more permanent
six-sided roof with a single central column supporting it. A small
rectangular addition off to one side where cabinets with supplies were
kept was soon added making the stand a more substantial installation.
Under the roof, chairs and easels were setup out of the hot sun so guests could sit for the artists to draw their caricatures while relaxing in the shade. The stand employed a crew of talented artists recruited from local schools who looked to practice their drawing skills over the summer breaks.
The stand was
operated by a contractor known as "Comic Relief" that also ran comic
book stores outside of the park. It was later run by Kaman's Art, an
operator of caricature stands in theme parks throughout the U.S..
The popular stand featured display boxes with examples of the artists' handiwork, often featuring caricatures of celebrities from movies, music, and TV shows that were popular at the time and often changed throughout the summer.
Depending upon the artist, some caricatures were hand drawn using charcoals while others were airbrushed renderings. For the convenience of the guests, drawings could be kept until the end of the day and picked up on the patron's way out of the park. The convenience of the stand near the center of the park made possible this free of charge service which surely increased sales of the caricature drawings.
For 1994, the caricatures stand was suppose to be
converted into a Fantasy Famer Market offering whole fresh fruit
and produce snacks. While the fruit stand made it the artist
rendering stage and onto the poster park map, the facility remained a
caricature stand for its final season in 1994.
The stand was totally removed prior to the 1995 season as it impeded the traffic flow into a new portal installed at the entrance to the neighboring Boardwalk section of the park.
For 1995, the artist of the caricature stand near the Carousel were relocated to a new, larger and more permanent stand in the Old Country area named Bavarian Artists.
|Original Spotlight: March 1, 2014, Updated: April 19, 2020. GAH Reference#: SHOP-1976-004|