The Ringling, also known as The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, is located on 66 acres of spectacular bay front property in Sarasota, Florida, and preserves the legacy of John Ringling, one of the founders of the Ringling Bros. Circus (now known as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus), and his wife, Mable.
It is home to an art museum, a circus museum, a five-story mansion, a historic theater, a conservation laboratory, and research library. Administered by Florida State University, it is also the State Art Museum of Florida.
Your day can begin at the Museum of Art to peruse a renowned collection of masters including El Greco, Van Dyke, Gainsborough and Rubens, along with modern and contemporary art. Then take a walk through the Bayfront Gardens that includes Mable’s Rose Garden, The Secret Garden, The Dwarf Garden, The Bayfront Promenade and Millennium Tree Trail, The Courtyard and The Canvas, in addition to the estate’s trees including 14 Banyan trees, the largest collection in Florida; two Shaving Brush; one Tiger Claw; one Monkey Puzzle; two Ear, including the state champion, the largest in Florida; two Rainbow Eucalyptus; and six varieties of bamboo. After your breath-taking tour of the gorgeous gardens, stop by the Ca’ d’Zan, John and Mable’s five-story mansion that reflects their lavish lifestyle. Make sure you save enough energy to check out the Circus Museum, filled with hand carved wagons, circus memorabilia, and John and Mable’s private train car. Then as night falls, you can unwind during a show at the historic Asolo Theater, Sarasota’s most storied theater. Created in Asolo, Italy, in 1798, it was brought to Sarasota in the early 1950s and painstakingly restored in 2006.
The museum is a member of the North American Reciprocal Museums Association. NARM is an affiliation of arts and cultural institutions across North America, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Individuals who join a participating NARM institution can receive free admission/discounts at over 650 institutions. Additional regional institutions in NARM include the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum, the Florida Holocaust Museum, The Dali Museum and the Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez.
Before you go, stop by the Coastal Cottage AMI office to pick up a brochure that includes a $2 discount coupon, good for up to four adults!