The Ringling Museum of Sarasota Florida
The Ringling Museum of Sarasota Florida: John Ringling, one of five original circus kings of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, through his success with the circus and other investments, became quite wealthy. In 1911, John and his wife, Mable purchased 20 acres of waterfront property in Sarasota, Florida where they spent winters. Later they decided to build a home there. Their property included a house built by one of Buffalo Bill’s circus managers, Charles Thompson.
Ringling Museum: Early Years
The couple’s first project in Sarasota was the splendid Venetian Gothic mansion, Cà d’Zan, built between 1924 and 1926 for a staggering sum of $1.5 million. The style of the house reflected Mable's taste and passion for opulence.
In the spirit of America's wealthiest Gilded Age industrialists, John Ringling gradually acquired a significant art collection as well as rare antiquities from Cyprus. He built a palace for his treasures in a 21-gallery Museum of Art on his property. The gallery was specifically designed to house his collection of European paintings and art objects.
Sarasota's Ringling Museum: Today
John Ringling bequeathed his art collection, mansion and estate to the people of the State of Florida at the time of his death in 1936. For nearly ten years after John Ringling’s death, the Ringling Museum was opened only irregularly and not professionally maintained. Cà d’Zan was used privately and remained closed to the public, while the State of Florida fought with creditors over the fate of the estate. By 1946, the State prevailed, and title was transferred to the people of Florida.
After years of restoration, the Ringling home and museum are now open to the public.
Moving To Sarasota?
If you are moving to Sarasota, I would be delighted to show you around the Ringling Museum and all the other attractions that make the Sunny Sarasota lifestyle so enjoyable. I would be very happy to introduce you to the areas that will best suit your needs.
To set up your tour of our wonderful city, please contact me online or call me direct at 941-928-3424.