Ringling Museum Honors Docents with Sculpture
Sarasota, FL — February 12, 2007 — The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will honor their docent corps with the La Gloria sculpture during a special dedication on Friday, Feb. 16, 2006 at 11 a.m.
La Gloria, designed by contemporary Mexican artist Jorge Marin, will be installed on the North side of the new Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing. The Ringling docents will be honored for sharing their time engaging and educating visitors about the Museum collections.
“The Ringling Museum could not exist without the generosity and dedication of our docent corps” says Executive Director Dr. John Wetenhall, “this sculpture serves as a standing tribute to their commitment and dedication to the Ringling Museum and as a symbol of our commitment to providing quality services to our Museum visitors.”
Marin designed the sculpture specifically for the Ringling Museum at the request of Robert L. Stuffings and Wetenhall. The sculpture proportionally fits with the scale and aesthetic qualities of the exterior of the new wing. The bronze sculpture stands 15-foot from base to wing tip and will be placed atop the exterior ledge alongside angular graduated steps, making it a focal point for visitors entering or exiting the new wing. Because of its grand scale, only a limited number of reproductions of the La Gloria can be made before destroying the mold.
“I believe we visit a museum in search of a non-physical experience, what some call the “aesthetic experience,” says Marin, “La Gloria invites us to open the doors of the soul through art, which she reminds us can free us for moments from time and matter.”
La Gloria features an opening in her chest symbolizing humanity’s desire to share passion and love with the world.
Cast through the ancient lost-wax technique, Marin’s sculptures are a reflection of his experience and personal tradition. The winged female, draped partially in cloth and balancing on a sphere, incorporates many of Marin’s signature features such as winged figures, detailed representations of the human form, and the representation of balance between inanimate objects and humanity. Marin’s sculptures borrow from mythology, religion and theater, and combine classical sculpture traditions with the tension and anxiety that is central to the modernist art movement. He aims to diminish the coolness of the bronze metal accentuating warmth in details of human form and composition that reflect sheer emotion and humanity.
Jorge Marin is considered one of the leading modern artists in Mexico today. Born into an artistic family, Marin’s passion for art began at an early age. Marin attended Mexican universities and graduated with a B.A. is Graphic Design and Art Conservation and Curatorship. His work is part of permanent collections in museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, and the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City.
Taking Marin over two years to create, La Gloria was commissioned by the Robert L. Stuffings Charitable Trust and the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust in coordination with the Ringing Museum.
Robert L. Stuffings, a part-time local resident of Sarasota and San Miguel de Allende Mexico, approached the Museum with the idea for the gift after seeing Jorge Marin’s work on display in Mexico City. Stuffings mother, Doris Stuffings, a past docent at the Museum, shared her passion for art by engaging and educating others. Her passion and commitment inspired Stuffings to dedicate the La Gloria to all who serve in this capacity. The sculpture symbolizes the beauty and positivity that comes with sharing one’s passion with others and serves as an inspiration for all to share their talents and passions for the goodness of others.
Stuffings also supports Save the Children, Inc., a non-profit group of surgeons and educators who correct birth defects in children around the world.
The Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust is an independent foundation started in 1996 serving fields of higher education, hospitals and Jewish agencies and Temples in New York and Florida.
The Ringling Museum currently has over 200 docents who are specially trained to lead tours in the Museum of Art, Cà d'Zan historic mansion, and the Circus Museum on a daily basis. To fully prepare for the tours, the selective group pursues a rigorous study program for each venue. Docent-led tours range from a highlight overview to focusedthematic reviews of the collections. Public tours are offered several times a day and group tours for school children, adults, and special needs visitors can be scheduled by request.