The Ringling Museum of Art is in Sarasota, two hours north of Naples. It is Florida's state art museum. The core collection was formed by John Ringling -- the circus impresario -- and his wife, Mable. The strength of the collection is 16th through 19th century European paintings (Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, etc.) and classical sculptures.
Ringling encountered financial reverses in the Depression of the 1930s. When he died and donated his estate and collection to the state, he was nearly bankrupt. Decades of legal battles and neglect followed,. Finally, just 12 years ago, the State of Florida kicked in some serious money, private philanthropists matched it, and the museum has been given the support and care it deserves.
These two photographs were taken in the loggia, above the lovely sculpture gardens. On one side, two statues sit beside the doors into the galleries. On the other side, a group of students on a field trip came toward me.
Linked to Weekend Reflections.
There is a tie to Hartford. The first director of the Ringling Museum was Chick Austin, who had earlier been an innovative director of Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum.