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Ringling Museum of Art

The Ringling Museum in Sarasota is one of the gems of sunny Florida. The complex of several majestic buildings, surrounded by a delightful park, attracts circus and art lovers from all over the world.

It was originally the homestead for the winter holidays of John Ringling and his family. Coming from a circus dynasty, he made a fortune at the beginning of the last century, giving performances with a troupe in Europe and America. During their lifetime, the Ringlings amassed an extensive collection of art objects, which included both rare antiquities and works by contemporary artists.

Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota — photo of the museum complex from the outside — American Butler

History of the Museum

Ringling's collection and property was transferred to the state of Florida in 1936, at the request of the deceased owner. And for decades, the luxurious residence was forgotten. The museum was almost always closed to the general public and not properly maintained. At the end of the 1990s, the buildings required serious reconstruction, the gardens were devastated and neglected. In 2000, the estate became the property of Florida State University. The established Board of Trustees allocated $42.9 million to restore and expand the complex.

By 2007, the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art was the sixteenth largest in the United States. In 2013, against the last will of the first owner, the museum was renamed, and received the abbreviated name Ringling Museum.

Ringling Museum Sarasota — Art Gallery Photo — American Butler

Interesting places of the Ringling estate

The complex includes several interesting museums where you can enjoy art objects, improve your knowledge and just have a good time.

  • Ringling Residence

In a magnificent dwelling, the owners expressed their love for distant Italy. An example of Venetian Gothic architecture was built in 1926 on the shores of a picturesque bay. It is named Ca' d'Zan, which translates to "House of John". After reconstruction in 2002, the mansion is open to the public. The main halls and dining rooms on the ground floor are allowed free of charge. To enter the second floor to view the bedrooms and guest rooms, you must purchase a ticket. On the nearby pier, you can plunge into social life by attending a luxurious reception or party.

Nearby is an excellent botanical garden — a passion for the mistress of the estate. It was planted in 1913, and has more than 40 thousand species of various plants. The famous corner of the park is a beautiful rose garden. To the north is the so-called Secret Garden, in which the tombstones of John and Mable Ringling are open to the public. Also, guests of the park will be surprised by the corners of the garden of giant plants and the green labyrinth. Separately, it is worth mentioning the dwarf park, decorated with outlandish sculptures collected in different parts of the world.

Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota — photo of the layout of the big top, the largest in the world — American Butler

Circus, circus, circus!

  • Circus Museum

John Ringling was the owner of a successful troupe that brought him a fortune. He decided to create the first museum in America to commemorate the art of the circus. The collection of the museum, founded only in 1948, has been collected for more than half a century. Here you can see all the achievements of circus art and paraphernalia - posters, posters, costumes and props. The screens show recordings of the most dizzying stunts staged by acrobats and illusionists of the early 20th century. The visitor of the museum will feel himself in the place of a circus performer — interactive attractions, such as a procession on a tightrope, will attract the attention of anyone.

In another part of the museum, there is a stunning miniature tent, known as the largest replica of its kind in the world. It shows in every detail the daily life and the splendor of the show of a circus artist.

  • Museum of Art

Ringling was a connoisseur of the fine arts. From each foreign trip he brought beautiful examples of painting and sculpture. The collection contains works by recognized great masters — Diego Velazquez, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicolas Poussin, Gianlorenzo Bernini, El Greco, Titian and many others. Collected Ringling and works of the most significant contemporaries. So the museum keeps the work of the "father of Dadaism" Marcel Duchamp. A separate building was erected to store the collection.

In the courtyard are majestic examples of ancient sculpture, headed by a copy of the famous David by Michelangelo. You can hide from the hot sun in the coolness of the magnificent fountains, one of which is a copy of the Roman Tortoise Fountain.

Interesting places and sights of the Ringling estate — photo of the cannon machine in the circus museum — American Butler


  • Ringling Library

Fans of rare books will love one of the richest book depositories in the United States — the Ringling Library.

The original collection, which consisted of 800 volumes, has grown to 90,000 copies. Here you can touch the works on the history of art, architecture, theater and fashion, written from the 16th century to our times. It is worth discussing an interesting work with like-minded people in a literary club or just sitting in the reading room. Educational seminars are also open for visits.

It is pleasant and easy to relax and expand your horizons on the coast of sunny Florida with American Butler. Unusual corners of Miami are ready to reveal their secrets and promise a delightful vacation.

American Butler professionally organizes any tour or excursion, fulfilling the wishes of the client. Contact us and discover Florida from the new side.
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  • 2.Comments and ratings
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  • 4.Payment history
  • 5.Subscribe to news and updates
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