Historic Asolo Theater Conservation
“Worth the price of admission simply to enter and be seated”-The Saturday Review
The Conservation team at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art worked for more than two years meticulously restoring the Historic Asolo Theater to an appearance reminiscent of its debut in the late 18th century. Dirt and grime were removed, painted grisaille Medallion portrait panels and decorative color images were restored, cracks between wooden panels filled, and worn-away gilding replaced. After restoration, the art panels of the theater were installed in a new structure in our John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion. The theater now features new lighting, state-of-the-art audio and projection equipment, and comfortable new seating for patrons.
Originally created in Asolo, Italy, in 1798 to honor Queen Caterina Cornaro, the palace playhouse purchased by the first Museum Director Everett “Chick” Austin” was specifically designed by Florida Architect Marion I. Manley and reinstalled at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota in the early 1950s. From this important stage sprang much of the theater, the opera, and the music that distinguishes this Gulf Coast city as one of the nation’s leading cultural centers.