New Books From the Ringling Museum of Art
SARASOTA, Fla. - Jan. 14, 2005 - The roster of publications from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art continues to grow with the release of several new books. Written by Museum scholars and illustrated throughout, the new publications are designed to enhance visitor appreciation of the Museum and its collections. These new volumes join the Ringling's ever-growing collection of titles that have gleaned awards from such organizations as the American Association of Museums and the American Advertising Federation.
Cà d'Zan: Inside the Ringling Mansion is the first comprehensive guide to the Ringlings' fabled Venetian palazzo ever to be published. Written by Museum Curator, Dr. Aaron De Groft, Ph.D. in collaboration with the late Dr. David Weeks, Ph.D., the 70-page book takes the reader on a room-by-room, “arm chair” tour of the architecture and contents of the 32-room mansion. Along the way, insights are shared as to how the Ringlings' lived and entertained on a grand scale in their magnificent seaside home. Historic images are coupled with current photography by Giovanni Lunnardi to chronicle the remarkable achievements of the building's recent multi-million dollar restoration.
Joanna Weber, Associate Curator, offers an idiosyncratic survey of the Museum of Art's permanent collection in her new book, Of Lions and Red Hats: St. Jerome at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Holding an M.A.R. degree in Religion and Visual Arts from Yale Divinity School, Weber found the Ringling collection uncommonly rich in images of St. Jerome, the patron saint of students and scholars. In her book, she explores the historical significance of the fifth century scholar in light of the myriad representations in the Ringling galleries. In addition to the book, a self-guided tour of the works is available for Museum visitors.
A third new book is a pictorial guide to Sculpture on the Estate of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, by Ringling Assistant Curator, Françoise Hack-Lof. The primary focus of the large format, richly illustrated book is the Museum's sculpture collection from the Chiurazzi Foundry in Naples, Italy. Purchased by John Ringling in 1925, the collection is among the largest of its kind in the world. These bronze castings replicate works ranging from Antiquity to the Renaissance down to the 19 th century. The largest and best-known piece in the collection is the cast of Michelangelo's David, but it is but one of more than fifty in a collection that is undergoing restoration and reinstallation in the Courtyard of the Museum of Art.
In addition to the books from the Museum, the Eakins Press Foundation has also published four new pocket books highlighting rare treasures from the Ringling Circus Collection. The Glasier glass plate negative collection by American photographer Frederick W. Glasier are the subject of two publications entitled, The Big Top and Native American Portraits. The Clown and the Showgirl celebrates Harry A. Atwell's photography, and the fourth book, Jumbomania focuses on the Jumbo elephant craze that swept both Europe and the United States. Essays for the volumes were written by Rodney Huey, former public relations executive for the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus; J.C.H. King, curator of Native North American Collections at the British Museum; and Deborah Walk curator of the Ringling Circus Museum.
All books are now available in the Ringling Museum Stores, and represent a substantial contribution to the fund-raising efforts necessary for the Museum to realize its mission. Future publications include volumes on the Historic Asolo Theatre, the representation of women artists in the Ringling collection, the rare book collection of John Ringling, and the history of the Ringling Bros. family enterprise.
General Admission includes the special exhibition, Ringling Museum of Art, Cà d'Zan Mansion, Circus Museum, Rose Garden and 66 acres of landscaped grounds. Adults are $15; senior citizens (65 and over) are $12. Free Admission for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult, museum members, and Florida students and teachers with valid ID cards. Information Line: 941.351.1660. Advance Tickets are recommended; call 941.358.3180.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Florida State University, is the state art museum of Florida. It preserves, develops, and enhances the legacy of John and Mable Ringling and engages and educates a large and diverse audience in a world-renowned collection of art, Cà d'Zan (the Ringlings' mansion) and its historic contents, collections documenting the circus and its history, the historic Asolo Theater, and the architecture, courtyard, gardens, and grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.
The Museum's exhibitions and programs are made possible in part through support by the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council; the State of Florida, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council; and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and a lifetime of learning.
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