The Ringling Museum of Art was worth the trip to Sarasota, Florida.Atfirst I didn't know what to expect, I thought it would be a boring museum of prints or a limited collection on display for a period of time; however, this was not the case.Atfirst I didn't put two and two together but upon arrival at the museum two plus two suddenly became four.
John Ringling was co-founder and owner in 1884, along with his five brothers, of the Ringling Brothers Circus.Later in 1907 they acquired the Barnum & Bailey Show changing the name to the well-known Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey Circus.John and his wife Mable accumulated a vast fortune not only through the Circus, but through real estate, and railroad deals.One of the real estate purchases he made was a 31 acre bay front estate in 1912 located in Sarasota, Florida were at the time only a single frame house stood.The purchase was originally made for a winter vacationing home for him and his wife.However, in 1924 he began construction of his mansion Ca d'Zan then in 1927 the Ringling Museum of Art and then later he added the winter quarters for the circus.Also during this time from about 1924 to 1931 John and his wife collected 600 pieces of various works of art including paintings, sculptures, and furniture for the museum.
The various works of art spam from the 1500's through the Renaissance period to the 19th Century and include works from Francesco Salviati, Carlo Dolci, Paolo Veronese.John and Mable new of the importance of exposing people to the artworks of the world and in 1930 the museum opened to the general public.Unfortunately six years after the opening of the museum John died in 1936 leaving this wonderful exhibit to the people of Florida.
After ten years of turmoil over ownership the State of Florida in 1946 agreed to continue the legacy left by John and his wife. The Museum now comprises sixty-six acres including the new college…