Come and experience the city’s grandest attraction while staying at our hotel near the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida! Known for housing some of the best art and cultural collections in the United States, the State Art Museum of Florida boasts the three distinct buildings of the Museum of Art, The Circus Museum, and Ca’ d’Zan Mansion.
The museum was originally founded by John Ringling, one of the five Ringling brothers who owned the traveling circus act known as “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Blending their love of the city, Italy, and art, John and his wife, Mable, drew from their own passions as inspiration for the buildings and exhibitions. Mable used her portfolio of sketches, postcards, and photos of Venetian Gothic style palaces in Venice as a model for the grand 36,000 square foot Ca’ d’Zan Mansion overlooking the Sarasota Bay, which boasts 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms.
An avid collector of art and literature, John Ringling built a 21-gallery museum soon after the completion of Ca’ d’Zan in the late 20s, which housed his beloved collection of Velazquez, Poussin, van Dyke, and Rubens, as well as replicas of Greek and Roman sculptures. He opened the Museum of Art to the public in 1931, two years after the death of his beloved wife, and just five years before his own. In memory of the famed circus owner, the Museum’s first Director, A. Everett Austin Jr. opened the first Circus Museum to showcase Ringling memorabilia in 1948.
Today, you can roam around the Museum of Art’s Rubens Galleries and Turrell Skyspace, walk the wire or squeeze into a clown car at the Circus Museum, or wander the magnificent lands built as a testament to the Roaring Twenties at Ca’ d’Zan Mansion. Our hotel near the Ringling Museum puts you just one mile away from the most popular attraction in Sarasota, Florida!