Designated as the official state art museum for Florida, the institution offers twenty-one galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot antiquities and Asian, American, and contemporary art. The museum's art collection currently consists of more than 10,000 objects that include a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts from ancient through contemporary periods and from around the world. The most celebrated items in the museum are 16th, 17th, and 18th century European paintings, including a world-renowned collection of Peter Paul Rubens paintings and cartoons.
In January 2007, a $76-million expansion and renovation of the Museum of Art was finished. A new Arthur F. and Ulla R. Searing Wing was added -- the new wing being the final component of a five-year master plan that has transformed the museum from a decaying facility to the 16th largest in the United States.
In all, more than have been added to the campus, which includes the art museum, circus museum and Cà d'Zan, the Ringlings' mansion, which has been restored, along with the historic Asolo Theater. Entirely new are the Visitors Pavilion, the Education and Conservation Complex, the Tibbals Learning Center and Miniature Circus and the Searing Wing, a gallery for special exhibitions attached to the art museum. A. Everett (Chick) Austin Jr., a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and, from 1927 to 1944, the innovative director of the Wadsworth Atheneum, was the Ringling Museum's first director.
Aside from the art museum, the estate of Mable and John Ringling also features Mable Ringling’s rose garden, completed in 1913. The rose garden is located near the original Mary Louise and Charles N. Thompson residence within the beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay. The estate also contains the Cà d'Zan ("House of John") - the waterfront residence they designed and built in 1926 - and a museum devoted to the history of the American circus.
The Circus Museum is also preparing for a new exhibition, the return of John Ringling’s Personal train car, The Wisconsin, The Circus Museum has sought the expertise of Edwards Rail Car Company for restoration services.
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. (South West/ Tampa Bay: In the News).(Vern Buchanan donated $1 million to the museum's "Ringling Now" campaign)(Brief Article)
May 01, 2003; SARASOTA --Vern Buchanan, chairman of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, recently donated $1 million to the...