About the Museum
In 1911, John Ringling and his wife, Mable, purchased twenty acres of waterfront property in Sarasota, Florida. Today, their legacy welcomes visitors from around the globe with fine art, an historic mansion, two circus museums and a jewel-box of a theatre. Indeed, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Florida State University, is one of the largest museum or university complexes in the United States. The museum opened in 1931 featuring important works by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Diego Velázquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, El Greco and Thomas Gainsborough. A generous gift from noted Asian art collector and philanthropist, Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt, substantially bolstered the museum’s Asian art collection. In addition, animating the courtyard are casts of original antiquities and Renaissance sculptures, including the towering David by Michelangelo. Special exhibitions are featured in The Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing, which opened in February 2007.