AAA Editor Notes
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is 4 mi. n., just w. of US 41 at 5401 Bay Shore Rd. The fortune John Ringling derived from his circus, vast real estate, oil and railroad investments was well spent on his art museum and 1920s estate. The 66-acre complex, decorated with statues and dotted with banyan trees, offers rose gardens, a children's play area and a view of Sarasota Bay.
The museum was built in Italian Renaissance style, with an inner courtyard studded with many renowned sculptures from the Chiurazzi Foundry in Italy, including a bronze cast of Michelangelo's “David.” The art collection includes significant holdings of American, European and non-Western art, with masterpieces from the 17th-century baroque period. Noteworthy is the Peter Paul Rubens collection and the James Turrell Skyspace. The Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing features a variety of changing exhibits year-round.
Ca' d'Zan, The Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center are on the museum's grounds (see attraction listings).
Guided tours are available. Food is available. Time: Allow 3 hours minimum.