Monday, April 14, 2008

Ringling Museum

My husband Michael and I recently returned from a trip to Siesta Key, Florida. (See the Everybody's doing it post below.) One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Ringling Museum. Located on 66-acres on Sarasota Bay, The museum is the legacy of John Ringling and his wife, Mable. These are the circus Ringlings. I had been there once before, many, many years ago, and looked forward to returning. A lot has changed since my last visit! First of all, the grounds are beautiful:

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The museum is actually a complex of several museums, including the Ringling Museum of Art; the Ringling Museum of the American Circus; the Howard Bros. Miniature Circus in the Tibbals Learning Center; the Historic Asolo Theatre, and Ca d'Zan, the Ringlings' stunning winter residence. They also have a wonderful upscale cafe onsite called Treviso, where Michael and I enjoyed lunch.

Our favorite thing had to be the Howard Bros. Miniature Circus.

To the Big Show

Built by Howard Tibbals over a period of fifty years, this 1/16" scale circus takes up 3,800 square feet and includes circus train cars, backlots, mess tents, performers' quarters, animal tents, the midway, big top and everything in-between, depicted in incredible detail. Let's go inside:

Mess tent.jpgMess tent for the performers and laborers

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Circus crowd Popcorn! Peanuts!

Lion tamerLion tamers

Dancing bearsDancing bears

IMG_0190The modern circus evolved from British equestrian shows of the late 1700s.


Next post: Museum of the American Circus and Tibbals Learning Center.

Sharon

2 comments:

Tyler said...

incredible. this circus is bigger than my house. it would take weeks to get through all those little tents and tales. a teeny tiny fantasy. love this guy on stilts in the video.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time.
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