John Ringling Brothers Art Museum and Vintage Circus Memorabilia, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling Brothers Art Museum in Sarasota, Florida
Sculptures at the Ringling MuseumClick thumbnail to view full-size
One of Sarasota's Treasures...
Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding area is home to some wonderful sights and places of interest. One treasure is the Ringling Museum of Art which was opened to the public on March 30, 1930. The Ringling Brothers who created a circus empire also developed great wealth and now visitors to Sarasota can enjoy some of what was bequeathed to the public by John and Mable Ringling.
Once, when visiting my aunt and uncle who reside part of the year in Florida, my mother and I were treated to a day of sightseeing in Sarasota. Included in this one day visit were the grounds of John and Mable Ringling's winter home which they called C`a d'Zan .
These extensive and beautifully landscaped 66 acre grounds border Sarasota Bay and include the Museum of Art and the Circus Museum in addition to their palace-like home.
The physical address is the following: 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, Florida 34243. The phone number is 941-359-5700.
Location of the Ringling Art Museum
World renowned art was collected by the Ringling's over a long period of time . Old Master paintings representing artist's creations from around the world and going back centuries are combined with tapestries, sculptures, furniture and other items. Modern art is not neglected in this vast and eclectic collection in which items are continually being added.
John and Mable Ringling accumulated this art collection and commissioned the building of the museum with the intent of donating it as their legacy to the people of Florida.
Mable Ringling died prior to the museum being completed. When John Ringling died in 1936, he bequeathed this entire estate including their winter home, the grounds and the museum with all the furnishings and art to the State of Florida.
Ringling Brother's Circus Museum on the grounds near the Art Museum
Circus artifacts and memorabilia...
After the State of Florida assumed responsibility for the property, it was thought that it would be appropriate to include a museum showcasing circus artifacts and memorabilia since that is what helped to create the vast wealth that was enjoyed by the Ringling's.
They also added a nineteenth-century Italian theater.
Contributions as well as purchases have amassed an assemblage of things like circus posters, drawings, prints, photographs, costumes, props and some rare and beautifully carved circus wagons among other artifacts for the circus museum .
Entrance to the Ringling Museum
I used to go to small carnivals when I was a child. Many of the entertainers probably longed to get hired by larger circuses like the Ringling Brothers who were certainly well known and made such entertainment fun for everyone.
Great video showing more of the art inside the museum! Photos change every few seconds...
Statuary at the Ringling Museum
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art...
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a massive U-shaped building and it is divided into 21 rooms showing the collections of grouped art appropriate to each different era of artistic expression. Examples include Sixteenth-Century Italian; Seventeenth-Century French , and so forth. The West Galleries located at one end of the U-shaped building contains modern art and also shows special exhibitions. At the other end is the Asolo Theatre which is opened for limited engagements.
The courtyard in the center has a beautiful sculpture garden.
Wear good comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to spend a good allotment of time in the Ringling Museum if you wish to enjoy the legacy of art left behind by John and Mable Ringling. You will enjoy the work of famous artists like Peter Paul Rubens, Velasquez and others to numerous to mention.
If you like the memory of grand circuses such as ones that were put on by the Ringling Brother's Circus, be sure and save some time to see the artifacts in that building on the Ringling estate. Children of all ages will enjoy seeing these colorful and amusing remnants of a past era in entertainment.
Exterior views of the Ringling Art MuseumClick thumbnail to view full-size
If you enjoy art and are ever near Sarasota, Florida, be sure and take the time to see this exquisitely designed and beautiful John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
The legacy of this impressive and rich art collection is one left to not only the State of Florida, but it is one that can be enjoyed by all of us fortunate enough to be in the vicinity. The grounds are equally impressive. And be sure and stop by the Circus Museum as well. It is a treat for people of all ages!
If you enjoyed this article, please take time to give it a star rating. Thank you!!!
© 2009 Peggy Woods
More by this Author
Pictures & videos tell the story of these beautiful botanical gardens in Sarasota. Come along & take a look!
Learn why 60 million people a year flock to Florida making it one of the top destinations in the U.S. So many attractions!!!
This is one hardy, evergreen & perennial favorite shrub that blooms much of the year in outdoor southern climates. See photos & videos.