Ringling Art Museum

The Ringling Home and Museum

John Ringling, one of 5 original kings of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus became quite wealthy. In 1911, John and his wife, Mable purchased 20 acres of waterfront property in Sarasota where they spent winters and later decided to build a home there.

The couple’s first project was the splendid Venetian Gothic mansion, Cà d’Zan, completed in 1926. The style of the home reflected Mable’s taste and passion for opulence.

In the spirit of America’s Gilded Age, John Ringling gradually acquired a significant art collection as well as rare antiquities from Cyprus. He built a 21-gallery Museum of Art on his property, specifically designed to house his collection of European paintings and art objects.

John Ringling bequeathed his art collection, mansion and estate to the people of the State of Florida at the time of his death in 1936. Cà d’Zan was used privately and remained closed to the public until 1946 when the title was transferred to the people of Florida. After years of restoration, the home and museum are now open to the public.

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