John Ringling is one of the brothers of the famed Ringling Brothers Circus. He was also an avid art collector. When he died in 1936, his will provided that his estate of about 65 acres in Sarasota, Florida and his art collection go to the people of Florida. The Ringling Museum is now the state’s art museum.
The museum has 21 galleries of European art which were Ringling’s. Additional galleries have been added, including a modern art gallery and an Asian art gallery.
“Art” is not just paintings…
In 2016, the $10 million Gallery for Asian art opened.
Mabel Ringling maintained a 27,00 sf rose garden. A smaller version was restored but none of her original roses survived.
The Ringling mansion, Ca’ D’Zan (Italian for “House of John”) is inspired by the Venetian Gothic palazzos. The five story, 36,000 sf mansion was completed in 1924 on a waterfront site 1,000 feet long.