…right here in Tampa Bay. The Ringling; a museum located in Sarasota, is the state of Florida’s official museum of art . All of the art was donated by John Ringling to The state of Florida. The Ringling Museum is a dedication to the memory of John and Mable Ringling and their hopes to make art and culture available to the common man. As you enter the visitor center you can see the Historic Asolo Theater, Created in Asolo, Italy in 1798, brought to Sarasota in the early 1950s and painstakingly restored in 2006. here you can see the gorgeous details and even see a show in this little slice of old Venice. Then once you past the automatic doors you enter a world of wonder and merriment. The first building you will see is the Tibbals learning center and Circus Museum. Here you will see the history and magic of the Circus and its effect on history. Everything from costumes to circus cars, you will find here. You will also the one of the largest miniature circuses set up to ridiculous detail to the life of the circus from top to bottom. You can spend hours just here alone. The next thing for those of you who enjoy the outdoors and flowers, is The Rose Garden with over 100 species of roses. The garden is set up in the Venetian wagon wheel style with plenty of statues and shell gazebo right at the center. Mable Ringling was an avid gardener and could be found their frequently. The pearl in the oyster at the Ringling is the massive 36,000 square foot, 5 story mansion on the edge of the property right on the Sarasota Bay. Rightly named “Ca’ d’ Zan” Venetian for “House of John” this was the Ringling’s winter home. The mansion is ornate and opulent to the degree that if you didn’t know it you would believe you were in the middle of a palazzo ( Venetian palace) in Venice, which is exactly what the Ringling’s wanted. Here you can take a self guided tours of the first floor or a guided tours of the first and second floors for a small fee of $10. The last and most important in my opinion to see on the property, is the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The Ringling were massive art collectors from all over the world from the late medieval to the 19th century. In 1928, Ringling made another significant acquisition that was to form the core of his classical antiquities collection, 2800 objects of Greek, Roman, and Cypriot antiquities from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He had the museum of art built to keep his ever growing collection, but most importantly he wanted to make the city of Sarasota a cultural and educational landmark. He wanted to not only make the circus available to the common man, but make art and culture easily accessible as well. The Ringling is a spectacular place to visit with all the family, there is something for everyone of every age. So in the spirit of the Circus, “Come one, come all to the greatest show in Florida” The Ringling!!
Please comment below about you and your families experience at The Ringling!
The Raging Dramatist.