Welcome this is the script for my Podcast Episode 8 — The Ringling.
As always, I try to limit my podcasts to around 5 minutes because that is my usual attention span. One quick commercial for my book of early poems which is now available on Amazon as a kindle or paperback, just search for Glenn McDaniel.
The Ringling is about the Art Museum on the Estate of John and Mable Ringling in Sarasota, Florida. The estate which is now owned by the State of Florida also houses John and Mable’s mansion Ca’ d’Zan which means House of John in Venetian, Italian as well as the Circus Museum.
The Ringling opened in 1930 and is a large museum with 21 galleries which flank a courtyard with many, many sculptures. John liked collecting great European paintings and sculptures including artists Peter Paul Rubens, Marcel Duchamp, Diego Velázquez, Gianlorenzo Bernini and Thomas Gainsborough.
If you don’t know about John Ringling, he was the last surviving of five brothers who owned the Ringling Brothers Worlds Greatest Shows which merged with the Barnum and Bailey Circus which the Ringling Brothers bought in 1907. They ran the 2 circuses separately until 1919 when they were combined following World War One and the new name was the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and it eventually closed in 2017 after 146 years.
The Circus Museum holds John and Mable’s private railcar named the Wisconsin which they say was the first private railcar with electric lights. The car is really large and very lavish, and I recommend seeing it. The Circus Museum also houses a miniature model of the circus which was enormous and it also houses a collection of handbills, posters and art prints, business records, wardrobe, props and equipment, as well as parade wagons.
The Ringling is the 16th largest museum in the United States and new wings have been added such as the Chao Gallery which houses historical and contemporary Asian Art; the Monda Gallery which is dedicated to contemporary art; and the Searing Wing which houses the Ringling’s modern and contemporary collections. There is also now an Education Center which houses classrooms and the Art Library.
This is a tremendous museum worth seeing more than once and the full impact of history/herstory can’t be understated when you visit and tour the buildings on the estate. The Ringling is a wonderful gift and a tribute to the legacy of John and Mable Ringling.
As always to everyone, Peace and Love.