The Ringling, Sarasota
Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Florida's official state art museum, The Ringling includes over 20 galleries filled with European, Asian, and American paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs. Among the 10,000 objects housed here, you can see a world-renowned collection of paintings by Rubens, Velazquez, Veronese, Bernini, Poussin, and Gainsborough. The campus also includes a circus museum, which boasts a huge collection of handbills, posters, costumes, props, parade wagons, and other equipment. The adjacent learning center houses a scale replica of a 1930s circus, claiming status as the largest miniature circus in the world. End your visit with a cup of coffee or tea at the museum cafe, or sit down for a gourmet meal at the on-site restaurant. Arrange your visit to The Ringling and discover more family-friendly attractions in Sarasota using our Sarasota trip generator.
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What a fantastic voyage throughout the history of a great circus. The exhibits are beautiful and detailed along with an amazing description of circus life. A must see!
We visited the museum (free) on a Monday. After the museum we strolled the grounds and had lunch before taking a tour of the 3rd floor of the mansion, followed by the 2nd and 1st floors of the mansion... read more »
I am not sure there's anywhere else in the world you can go to tour a magnate's home with his grave outside for everyone to visit, see a HUGE to-scale circus performance, AND visit more than three cen... read more »
Skip the Dali Museum and come here. It's a bit cheaper (free on monday!). Far more artwork and far more stuff to do. It's a great place and definitely the best art museum in Florida (and the side additions are great too!). They are doing more and more construction to it because only 30% of his artwork is being displayed at one moment. If they can bump it up to 50-75% being displayed it would easily be one of the best museums in the world hands down.
Being from Florida we have always heard stories about the Ringling Bros. and the crazy christmas parades they used to have, but I have never been to John Ringling's actual mansion before. So today we took an adventure to the John and Mable Ringling museum. First I have to say is get there early. We arrived around 1pm and only saw half of the property by closing time at 5pm. I am going to have to make another trip back to see the rest. On Mondays the art museum is open free to the public, as to John Ringling's request in his will. Take advantage of this deal if possible. We wanted to see the mansion and take to guided tour of both the 1st and 2nd floors and the extended tour of the private places and the roof top. This house is amazing and to learn the history behind everything was well worth the extra money. There is so much detail in every room and everything has a great story behind it. Bring your camera and take lots of pictures, but remember turn your flash off. Besides the house there is the Circus Museum the you will want to see. They have just about everything from advertisement to the actual train cars used to transport the animals. One could spend hours in there looking at everything. The Worlds Largest Miniature Circus is located here too. This is a site you must see for yourselves. The detail in ever area and in every person or act is incredible. This was by far my favorite part of the museum. I did not get to see the art museum today, but I will review it next time I get back out there.
If you've lived in SRQ your whole life you likely take this amazing gem for granted. Trust me, this place is GLORIOUS! Few art collections can compare; the museum is truly a sight to behold. And, the backdrop of Sarasota is phenomenal (no wonder Ringling chose it). You'll get a lesson in history, art, the circus, and turn of the century American society if you take advantage of all of the things to see and do here. And I highly recommend that you do. Make a day of it, you won't regret it.
It is a gorgeous place. The building is beautiful if a little surreal. The collection is actually very impressive. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. I love being there.
A nice little museum with lovely gardens for walking. There are three points of interest a the museum the art museum, the circus museum, and the Ringling mansion. The circus museum has some great posters and figurines but that's about all. The gallery on the other hand has a lot of old art and also some very interesting Asian arts. There's also a special exhibit that changes every few months keeping the experience relatively fresh.
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