On Location: Ringling Museum of Art

Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard

I lived in Sarasota for 6 years before I finally made it over to the Ringling Museum.  It wasn’t until I got back into photography that I made the short trip over and discovered what I had been missing.

Governed by Florida State University, the area includes the art museum, circus museum, Asolo Theatre, and the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, John and Mable Ringling’s residence on Sarasota Bay.

I’ve taken very few photos of the museum itself, and instead concentrated on the grounds. Between the museum and the bayside mansion lie a large expanse of parks, trees, and gardens. The outer courtyard (shown above) is large and filled with fountains and statues, all enclosed by the decorative walls of the museum. Beyond this are several paths and gardens, including Mable’s Rose Garden, a picturesque maze of roses and other flowers.

Garden Cherub

Finally, you arrive at the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion sitting on Sarasota Bay. Completed in 1926, it features much of the same Italian-inspired design and decoration the city of Sarasota has itself, and makes for great photos.  Referred to as the “Venitian Gothic” style, the mansion is grand in appearance and was a cultural center for the city for many years.

I’ve captured several other shots in the out-of-the-way paths of the property, as statues dot the area in areas you wouldn’t expect to find them.  The long, rectangular walk takes you from the museum entrance, past the gardens, to the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, along a seawall holding back the bay waters, and back to the front grounds.

Mansion

The museum itself encompasses a vast area of 21 separate galleries spread over 150,000 square feet of space.  The towering rooms accomodate some truly spectacular art pieces, especially the first few rooms you explore.

The variety of what this area offers allows me to come back time and again, capturing a different experience each time.

If you live in the Sarasota area or are planning to visit, you can view details about the museum at www.ringling.org.

View my Ringling Museum of Art photo set.

Sources: Wikipedia

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