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:


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


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.



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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