Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy, Sarasota
(4.5/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy is located in Sarasota. Add Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy to your Sarasota travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Sarasota travel itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We love to bring friends here because you can't help but have a wonderful time. Admission is free although they do ask for a donation. It took me two years of driving past their building to realize th...  more »
  • I took my sister when she was visiting from out of town. We both had a great time. I highly recommend it to anyone with a sense of whimsy. 
  • This museum is dedicated to the lightness of art. Some very fun and creative stuff. Extra bonus is the beautiful grounds behind the building. You could spend hours there if you wanted. 
Google
  • I've been to the Museum of Whimsy several times while visiting family near Sarasota and have watched it grow from its first initial building, to the opening of the sculpture garden/parking lot, and most recently saw the construction of the future gift shop & cafe buildings. It's a great, colorful place with a unique collection of artwork that you won't find anywhere else; even the buildings themselves have become works of art, with paintings and inlaid shells built in! I have never had a negative interaction with any of the staff here. Despite the claims of another reviewer, it has always been the case - and is clearly stated in several places - that photography is allowed and encouraged in the outdoor parts of the museum, but it is prohibited inside where the gallery of more recent works are on display. The reason given is that the artists who display their works are all currently living, working artists who value their intellectual property and don't want to have their artwork captured and reproduced without permission. As someone who is generally opposed to abuse of copyright protections, this feels like a completely reasonable desire on the part of the artists. While there are many things I wish I could take photos of, it's actually a bit refreshing to put your camera away and focus on the experience of the artwork in the moment. My small disappointments with the Museum are the short hours and that it's sometimes difficult to get information about the artists of specific pieces, though the volunteer staff present is usually knowledgeable. Online, many links from the Museum's site to the artist's pages are broken or the artist's sites don't have pictures of what is on display at the museum. I was told last week that increasing access to information about the artist's other works is a priority that volunteers will be working on this summer. Despite these flaws, the experience of visiting the Museum has always been a positive one, especially when sharing it with first-time visitors, and leaves me with a smiles, laughter, and feelings of inspiration. I highly recommend everyone visit this museum & art gallery on any trip to the Sarasota area!
  • WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!! Definitely NOT the carefree, whimsical, happy experience I was hoping for! I own a pretty decent camera & had it around my neck. Upon entering, I was greeted & told, "take as many photos as you'd like." However, as I was taking my first photo, of some tile work, I was told no photos indoors. No problem. I asked if outdoor ones were okay & the answer was a resounding yes! Good to know. So, why was I then stopped repeatedly, and told NOT to take photos, while outside?! Is that plant someone's artwork? No! (Well, it's God's handiwork, but he allows photos). I never once took a photo of anyone's art, nor did I want to! I was interested in the garden & bright colors, only. Besides, the artwork is...how do I put this gently? Tacky. I went out front & was taking a photo of a flower in front of the wall. An employee named Marti came outside & confronted me about my photo-taking. When I explained that I'd been made aware of their policy, 3 TIMES ALREADY, she went on to say how people have copied artwork & made it in China. Copied what? The tacky paintings? I highly doubt it. I explained that I was NOT doing that, and told her, "I really don't feel welcome here, at all! I guess I'll just leave." And she said, "Ok." Gee, thanks Marti! Glad I made a donation to this crappy place, filled with crabby old people!!
  • Great quirky place to visit and explore! Eclectic grouping of various forms of art displayed by the owner Marietta. You can find her milling about amongst the visitors. The staff people are nice and helpful.
  • Always a pleasant surprise....I love whimsical art...I think of what wonderful experiences the artist may have had to create, and express, many times through the use of repurposed and randomly chosen materials....a whimsical object..I'm inspired and it's always a happy adventure and discovery of something I haven't seen before. Thanks, Mary Lee for your generous contribution to Sarasota! 😍
  • I spent a fun few hours touring this interesting museum. There is no rhyme or reason to the displays, they are there to just enjoy. At the moment the museum is open Thursday - Sunday, 1-4 and has free admission. Whimsy greets you wherever you look. Probably appeals to women more than men, although there were quite a few men strolling around.