What used to be the circus wintering grounds now hosts a massive theatre and entertainment center, plus the art gallery that John and Mabel Ringling accumulated, plus their house on Sarasota Bayside.
We lucked it as the art gallery was free today. but the house Ca' d'Zan and the circus museum weren't. We decided the large gardens and art museum for free outweighed the other two at $25 for each of us.
At the visitor centre we met a lady from Surrey working as a volunteer, She has been in Sarasota for eight years and she said they keep a house in England. Lucky her.
The next stop was the Banyan Cafe. Both of us were gasping for a coffee. Sadly the camera started playing up again and was refusing to take any pictures. I knew I should have relied on my iPhone rather than Nikon! The [r07] and [r10] "errors" coming up. Googling indicates a bufferng problem. But as I don't take loads of pics in burst mode, it shouldn't happen.
Switching either the camera body or the lens to M(anual) had it working but not with both on A(uto). So many of the pics I took were actually out of focus and blurred!!
The house, Ca' d'Zan is an Italianate design and looks as though it was plucked from Venice or somewhere. The whole ground is tiled in marble and the walls decorated with coloured brick and friezes,
A further walk in the baking heat took us to the art gallery via a small lake. In the italianate garden there are many statues, one of David and one of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders, plus many more.
This is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. We arrived at the Ringling Museum on a Thursday which is their day to stay open until 8 PM and we still didn't see it all. We took a guided tour through Ca' D' Zan the Ringlings winter residence in Sarasota. The Venetian Gothic style reflects the Ringlings' love for Italy, their favorite place to visit.
After our guided visit we went back in to take our time looking at the kitchen, dining room and other exquisite areas. Their view of Sarasota Bay is marvelous. Unfortunately it was rainy the entire time we were there and in Sarasota so we missed the sunny view of the bay. The grounds are well manicured and lovely. The Bayfront Gardens are free for a visit and we enjoyed touring Mable Ringling's rose garden which contains more than 1200 roses.
We took a tour with a docent when we visited the art museum. She pointed out and focused on three works of art. "Judith and the Maid Servant", "Judgement of Paris" and "Buiiding of a Palace" all described very well.
The Circus Museum has good documentation of circus history in the United States and the Tibbals Learning Center houses the Howard Bros. Circus Model of the largest miniature circus and has a timeline on the second floor that traces circus history from antiquity to today.
There are several places for meals here. Admission is $20 for Seniors and $5 for a guided tour of the home.
If you have ever dreamed of running away to the circus this museum is for you. With the full scale model of the circus you will quickly realised whyit was the greatest show on Earth. The amount of people who were involved with setting up the circus was unbelivable. As well as the full scale model of the circus you will see rare posters and photographs,sequined custumes, performing props and elaborate curved circs wagons. You will even see Tom Thumbs outfit.
Also included with the entrance price is Cà d'Zan, which is the Ringling house and the Art Museum which is internationally recognized for its collection of Baroque paintings. The grounds and gardens are quite beautiful too.
$15.00 for adults
The Ringling's of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus created this wonderful museum.
It is a beautiful museum located on a 66-acre estate. It has been recognized as the official State Art Museum of Florida. It is a truly amazing place and filled to the brim with priceless things
The estate has three main parts
1) Art museum with 21 galleries of European paintings, Cypriot antiquities, Asian Art, American paintings, and contemporary art. A must see for art lovers although I doubt children will love it.
2) The recently renovated C? d'Zan ("House of John"). Stunning mansion completed in 1913 -
The estate itself sits on the Sarasota Bay and is a wonderful place for a picnic. Be sure to take a stroll through the landscaped grounds including the Rose Garden
3) The Circus Museum displays costumes, wagons, performance equipment, and other artifacts chronicling the history of the Circus. Fun for everyone, but the children will love it.
pictured is the inner courtyard of the ringling museum. the courtyard of this huge italinate style building has a beautiful garden and a number of famous replica italian renaissance statues. in the center of the courtyard in a bronze cast of the original michelangelo's "david".
john ringling made his fortune with a traveling circus and later in real estate and railroad ventures. in 1926 he comissioned architect dwight james baum of new york to design a museum to house his huge european art collection. this huge building today houses over 600 paintings from european masters from 1500 to 1750 and numerious sculptures. along with the art museum there are two circus museums and the historic asolo theatre. you can easily spend a day visiting the ringling mansion and museums. see the attached web site for admission and times.
They had a special exhibit of modern art which we both found interesting. There were Picasso, Dali, and we got to see our first Jackson Pollock painting. We enjoyed that part. The permanent collection consists mainly of old masters from 1500 to about 1750.
The website contains much information and many photos.
The Ca d'Zan is the home of John and Mabel Ringling. They moved in before Christmas in 1926. The home is a Venetian Gothic mansion on Sarasota Bay. The furnishings and architecture of the home as well as the stories and history told by the tour guides make this home well worth visiting.
The website has much information and good photos.
Combining their affection for Sarasota with their love of baroque art, the Ringlings decided to build a museum on the estate grounds & fill it with finest paintings & other objects of art they could buy.When JR died,he left to the State of Florida over 600 paintings including the World's largest private collection of works by Peter Paul Rubens & thousands of other objects-prints,drawings,sculptures,tapestries,antiquities,pottery,jewelry & furniture. As for Rubens paintings,the size of each is the size of the wall in the room -it's something more than impressive! I liked a little cabinet each draw of it has a picture from the Bible stories!
The 6th of the seven Ringlings brothers of baraboo,wisconsin john Ringling was one of the founders of a famous circus.he & his wife vacationed in Sarasota in early 1900s & purchased their bayfront propety in 1912.Their original house was located on the same spot where their ornate palace,Ca d'Zan,now stands. Ca d'Zan -winter residence was designed by New York architect Dwight James Baum in 1924.In the ball room the ceiling is made of painings in octagon frames.Those are pictures of all nations of the World dancing!
The Ringling is one of Florida's best museums. John and Mabel Ringling were avid art collectors, and they left their collection, as well as their seaside mansion, to the state. The Ringling is probably most famous for housing an impressive collection of Peter Paul Rubens' tapestries and large, wall-size paintings (which were actually sketches for his tapestries, though they're incredibly impressive in their own right), but the entire collection of mostly religious art is breath-taking.
Besides just the main museum itself, the grounds also contain a circus museum, sculpture garden (which contains an exact replica of Michealangelo's David), and giant gardens of tropical trees and roses.
This museum is the wonderful art collection of John and Mable Ringling. A few of the highlights include works by Cranach, Rubens, Poussin, Hals, Van Dyck, Pietro da Cortona, and Guercino. The art collection consists of over 10,000 objects including paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. This is a must see. Also take some time and visit the Circus Museum on the grounds, it is a truly enjoyable experience.