This past week I was in Sarasota for a conference and one evening there was a dinner and gallery tour at the Ringling Museum of Art. The entire Ringling Museum is an elaborate complex with an art museum, theatre, a circus museum, gardens, the Ca’ D’Zan villa, and a performing arts center. John Ringling, of the Ringling Circus fame, built the Ca’ D’Zan villa in the early 1920s and then built the art museum, modeled after a Florentine palace, to house his art collection. Many of the buildings are impressive and luckily the art museum was one of them. I wish we had more time to visit other parts of the museum, especially the Ca’ D’Zan mansion, which I’ve heard is stunning and right on the water. However the art museum is still one of my favorite buildings in Florida.
The art museum is a U-shaped building with the art galleries inside and a sculpture garden in the middle ringed by a grand verandah. At the time of our dinner the sun was low and it added a beautiful hue to the pink building. We had some food out on the verandah and then walked through the art gallery and the gardens. The collection is a variety of late Baroque and Renaissance paintings and some pieces are really cool. I personally enjoyed overall the museum building and gardens themselves. The architecture and intent of Mr. Ringling was similar to James Deering and Viszcaya, but I found the Art Museum to be even more impressive. Check out pictures below!
I really wish I had time to check out Ca’ D’Zan villa and the rest of the complex and it’ll be top on my list for a visit back. The Art Museum by itself is well worth a visit but the entire museum with the villa and the circus museum should make the Ringing Museum top on everyone’s list for a Sarasota trip.
Ringling Museum- 5401 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL