The Ringling Museum is one of the most compelling reasons to visit Sarasota and stay in a Florida Bed and Breakfast. Comprised of the splendid Ringling Mansion, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Asolo Theater, the Circus Museum, and impeccably maintained grounds and gardens, the Ringling Museum will enthrall visitors over the course of several days.
John Ringling was one of the five Ringling brothers who founded the Ringling Bros Circus in 1884. He started as a song and dance man at the age of 16, and was involved in all aspects of the family business during his life, ultimately running the business after the deaths of his brothers. The circus brought joy and mirth to its spectators, and great financial rewards to its founders.
After having traveled all over the country with the circus, John Ringling and his wife Mable decided to build a home in Sarasota, Florida. They loved the Sarasota area, and devoted many resources to encourage its development. Their dream was for Sarasota to become a cultural mecca similar to those on the East Coast of Florida, like West Palm Beach. Their home has helped it to become one.
One of the most impressive buildings in the whole state of Florida – and indeed the whole country – is John and Mable Ringling’s Sarasota home, Cà d’Zan (the House of John). Set on their estate of 20 lush acres on Sarasota Bay, this sprawling Venetian Gothic mansion is a glorious tribute to America’s Gilded Age. The Ringlings had been very impressed by the grand architecture of Venice, and modeled their own home on this style. They furnished it with many fine pieces purchased at auction houses, where they also purchased an internationally recognized collection of art.
The Ringling Museum of Art encompasses an impressive collection of paintings by European masters, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, Asian Art, Ancient Art, American Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, and Decorative Arts. It would not be the Ringling Museum without Circus posters and memorabilia as well, although the more extensive Circus collection is housed in the Circus Museum.
Guests of Sarasota Florida Bed and Breakfasts should allow time to visit the Historic Asolo Theater, which was built in Asolo, Italy in 1798, and brought to the Ringling Sarasota Estate in the late 1940s. Its arrival guaranteed that Sarasota would become the cultural mecca the Ringlings had always hoped it would be. A variety of shows and performances allow visitors to experience the theater as it should be experienced. Come for Monday Night Movies, Sunday String Quartet concerts, Circus acrobatics, juggling, and buffoonery, and more.
There is much to do and see in Sarasota, Florida, yet no trip to Sarasota would be complete without visiting the Ringling Museum. The best lodging options while in the area are our member Florida Bed and Breakfasts.
Please visit the Ringling Museum for hours, exhibits, etc.