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The Ringling Museum

Posted by Susanna On February - 16 - 2011

For visiting the Ringling Museum Complex one needs definitely a day. The area is wide and contains the Ringling Art Museum, the Ringling Circus Museum and last but not least the Ringling Mansion.
All in all is wonderful but especially the Circus Museum was great since it might be the only one on the world. It is great to see how the whole circus and freak show business worked back then when this was the greatest entertainment one could wish for.
The Ringling Brothers Circus was a circus founded in the United States in 1884 by five of the seven Ringling Brothers which were originally from Germany. In 1919 it merged and became the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus and promoted as The Greatest Show on Earth. The circus was so successful that they could afford a luxurious mansion at the sea and a big art collection with old master pieces.
The art gallery reminds very much on the Getty Villa which was built like an ancient roman villa. The rooms are divided in epochs and countries and contain paintings, sculptures and furniture or accessories like fans. I was very impressed of the seize of that collection which contains a lot of remarkable pieces like the over dimensional Rubens paintings or the one of the last portraits of queen Marie Antoinette of France before she was executed.
The Mansion was build in 1924/25 and reflects the splendor and romance of Italy which the Ringlins admired very much. All the 56 rooms contain finest original furniture and art. It is inside as beautiful as it is from the outside – a real luxurious palace.

Ringling Circus Museum

Ringling Art Museum

Ringling Mansion

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