Permanent Collection - The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was created in 1927 by John and Mable Ringling for the people of Florida. Having made a fortune through the family-owned circus and, later through real estate and railroads ventures, John Ringling amassed an art collection of over 600 paintings, sculptures, and various decorative arts including more than 25 tapestries. Actively collecting for the Museum over the period from 1924 to 1931, Ringling and his wife, Mable, gathered important works by Cranach, Rubens, Poussin, Hals, Van Dyck, Guercino and other major artists who worked primarily from 1500 to about 1750. The Old Master collection, now including approximately 750 paintings, is the most important area of the Museum's holdings. Within it are Italian paintings that are among the rarest and most celebrated in the United States. The Museum's art collection now consists of over 10,000 objects that include a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs and decorative arts from ancient through contemporary periods and from throughout the world.

Cà d'Zan, John and Mable Ringling's Venetian Gothic mansion on Sarasota Bay, is one of America's important historic houses. The imposing structure was originally intended to combine certain architectural features drawn from two of Mrs. Ringling's favorite Venetian hotels: the Danieli and the Bauer-Grünwald. Dwight James Baum of New York supervised final plans and the actual construction. The Ringlings moved into the mansion just before the Holidays in 1926. Bricks, terra cotta "T" blocks and poured concrete were the primary construction materials, and terra cotta was the principal decorative material used (exterior and interior) because the glazed finishes would best withstand Florida's brilliant sun. Mable Ringling personally visited the kilns to make sure the colors - soft red, yellow, blue, green and ivory - were precisely what she wanted. Shipped from Barcelona were thousands of old, red barrel tiles for the roof. The mansion is topped by a 60-foot tower, which the Ringlings kept illuminated when they were in residence.

Located in the recently constructed Visitors Pavilion, the restored Historic Asolo Theater serves as a performance venue and cultural resource for the Ringling Museum and the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts by presenting a diverse roster of performances staged in partnership with area performing arts organizations, guest artists, and artist presenters.





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