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Monday, March 29, 2010

When you least expect it.

DSC_2150I may have to divide this story into two parts. I know it will be hard to decide on what photos to show but I will see how it goes. When getting off the plane in Sarasota Sunday evening, I saw an ad for the Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Ringling Museum of fine art. On Monday when we leaving the BayFront park there was a sculpture out by the street that caught my eye DSC_2152and made me remember to ask my sister about the museum.   “unconditional surrender” Isn’t the detail wonderful? Her stockings even had a seam up the back. Do you remember wearing nylons with seams? In all my brochures about Sarasota there was nothing about this sculpture – but doing a Google search found it to be a 26 foot tall cause for argument between Sarasota residents. My comment – “some people have no sense of humor”.

Second day Sarasota - The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

I would never have expected to find a museum of this quality in a small town like Sarasota. The grounds include the museum building that John Ringling built in 1925 to house his personal collection; John and Mable’s dream house completed in 1926 and styled after buildings of Venice; her rose garden, a couple of restaurants, a warehouse of circus memorabilia and several other educational buildings and gift shops. The admission was a bit pricy but in the end the 5 or 6 hours we spent there made it seem well worth the cost.

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Both the house and the museum have been meticulously restored to their original glory. The Museum is definitely a building that speaks of Venice right down to its gentle pink color, u-shaped, rounded arches, individually carved stone balustrades, a small replica of Michelangelo's David, water fountains, and the elegant walkways through the garden. John Ringling spared no expense making his Mable happy.

Tomorrow more second day – the Ringling home and gardens.


  1. Well, I cannot wait for part 2! Really Ginger, your photos are wonderful. This place looks huge and so beautifully restored.

  2. This is amazing Ginger. I had no idea! There must have been a lot of money in circuses.

    I can't wait for part 2.

  3. Barry, if I was reading the propaganda properly I would say that he built this all on borrowed money - along with many other projects, then in the ten years after lost it all. He died giving the property to the state in leu of back taxes due. still it is beautiful.