RINGLING MUSEUM OF ART
Located on a 66-acre estate on Sarasota Bay, The John and Mable
Ringling Museum of Art was established in 1927 as the legacy of
John Ringling (1866-1936) and his wife, Mable (1875 to 1929).
Recognized as the official State Art Museum of Florida, the Museum
of Art offers 21 galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot
antiquities, Asian Art, American paintings, and contemporary art.
The estate features the spectacular Cŗ d'Zan ("House of John"),
a waterfront mansion that was restored in 2002. The Circus Museum
displays costumes, wagons, performance equipment, and other artifacts
chronicling the history of the Circus. The estate also features
Mable Ringlingís Rose Garden, completed in 1913, and beautifully
landscaped grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.
The Museum offers numerous cultural and educational programs,
including courtyard concerts, "Third Thursday" socials on Cŗ díZan's
terrace, lectures, workshops, childrenís programs, teacher training
sessions, and public tours. The Museum also houses an art conservation
laboratory, a 65,000 volume art library, and archives. Beginning
in January, 2006, a series of new buildings will open, which includes
the Circus Museum's Tibbals Learning Center celebrating the Circus,
a Visitors Pavilion featuring the reinstalled Asolo Theater, new
art galleries, and an education center.
Included on the estate are the Banyan Cafť, two gift shops, and
the acres of parkland and gardens with Banyan and palm trees among
the wide variety of native and exotic plant materials.
In 2000, the Museumís governance was transferred from Floridaís
Department of State to Florida State University, making it the
largest university museum complex in the nation.