Marie Roberts

A painter with a Coney Island legacy

Marie Roberts
Interview Date:
April 3 2010



Marie Roberts hails from an illustrious Coney Island family.  Her grandfather was the Acting Battalion Chief of the Coney Island district and fought some of the most notable fires in Brooklyn history including the Dreamland fire of 1911 that burned the park to the ground. Her Uncle Lester was the talker for the Dreamland Circus Sideshow and brought many of his friends who performed in the sideshow into the family fold. Marie has fond memories of Lionnel, the lion-faced man and Zip the Pinhead.  Her father had a love of horses and spent all his free time at the tracks that used to host horse races in Coney Island. Marie grew up to be a painter and professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, but was called back to Coney Island in the 1990s when she befriended Dick Zigun, founder of the Coney Island USA Sideshow.  Since then she has painted sideshow banners and taught the art of banner painting for CIUSA.