Ringling Museum Kicks-Off New Cultural Institute for Adult Learners
Sarasota, FL – January 8, 2006 –The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will begin offering university level, specialized two day seminars on a spectrum of broad cultural topics January – March 2007. The intensive and specialized programs are ideal for life-learners wishing to experience or revisit subjects that inspire passion or gain insight into new interests.
“If you were to survey adults about what classes they wish they took more of in college, most would respond with art and humanities. The Ringling Museum recognized an incredible opportunity to expand our educational mission by providing cultural courses for adults,” said Executive Director Dr. John Wetenhall. “The courses’ breadth and depth will attract adults from across the state and country who want an intense and specialized program with renowned course leaders at one of the leading university museums in the nation.”
The courses, a total of eight during the first year, present a range of subjects, from the popular culture of the Big Top to the art history of the Baroque: including art, dance, history, drama, literature, and music. The seminars are taught in small groups enhancing the personalized learning experience and creating ample opportunities for students to bond with fellow classmates with similar interests. The learner does not sit behind a desk all day, rather the learner is actively involved in the learning process through a blend of lectures, field trips, films, and in-gallery study sessions. Although when in a classroom setting, the Museum classrooms available in the new Education/Conservation building (opened in December 2006) will be used. The seminars are taught by recognized authorities, university professors, curators, artistic directors, performers, and historians. The number and range of topics offered will more than double next year and triple in the third year.
“We are developing this program to fulfill our contribution to Florida State University’s vision for a cultural campus,” Wetenhall said. “The Museum has the most potential and resources for this type of life-long learning opportunity making us an authority on the cultural topics.”
Gourmet lunches in the Museum’s elegant atmosphere and daily “beverage breaks” offer opportunities for one-on-one conversations and lively discussions with new acquaintances. The Institute is a great place for the lifelong learner to meet others with similiar interests.
Fees includes all classes and gallery visits, books, lunch on Friday and Saturday, coffee and biscotti breaks each day, admission fees, field trips, and performances at the Historic Asolo Theater when they are part of the Institute curriculum. This program is affiliated with Florida State University and courses are not for degree credit.
Registration takes place by contacting 941.358.3180 or mailing in a registration form to: Admissions, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243. For more information on fees, course selection, cancellation policies and more please visit www.ringling.org
A City Without a Zip Code: The Circus as Community
Dates: January 26, 27
Lecturer: Dr. Rodney Huey, Clown Historian, Former PR Director for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
Behind the spotlights, glitter, and glamour that defines the American circus lies a complex and fascinating culture that closely resembles any American community. Under the direction of a titular mayor (general manager), the circus operates its own school, transportation, housing, sanitation, political, economic, and social systems. It even has its own dedicated priest! But the one defining feature of the circus is the fact that its geographic location changes every week as these modern-day troubadours wind their way across the country to entertain untold millions of families, rendering the circus as America’s only city without a zip code! Participants will hear from circus performers who spent their lives in the circus; take an insider’s look at the miniature Howard Bros. Circus as a projection of circus history; and visit Circus Sarasota to get a first-hand look at putting together a circus performance.
Special Feature: Circus Sarasota extends a rare invitation to attend a dress rehearsal in preparation for opening night of the 2007 season. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet members of the Circus Model Builders of America during their annual workshop at the Circus Museum. The grand finale is a rousing concert by the world renowned Windjammers Unlimited.
Encouraging American Genius: American Painting
Dates: February 9, 10
Lecturer: Sarah Cash, The Bechhoefer Curator of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art
This two-day course will present a history of American art as told through the Corcoran's world-renowned collection of pre-1945 American paintings and sculpture. The lecture component of the course will offer a general history of American art from 1760 to 1945, with emphases on early portraiture, genre painting, Hudson River School landscape painting, American Impressionism, and early twentieth-century realism. The in-gallery portion of the course will be constructed around several milestones/monuments in the history of art including Gilbert Stuart's George Washington, Thomas Cole's Departure and Return, Albert Bierstadt's Last of the Buffalo, Thomas Eakins' Singing a Pathetic Song, John Singer Sargent's Madame Pailleron, and George Bellow's Forty-Two Kids.
Special Feature: Go behind-the-scenes with the Museum’s Registration department to experience the extraordinary effort involved in coordinating special exhibitions.
Florida Architecture: From Mediterranean to Modern
Dates: March 9,10
Lecturer: Beth Dunlop, Architecture Critic and Author
From cowboys to crackers, from millionaires to modernists, Florida’s architectural landscape tells the tale of the Sunshine State. Practical pioneers constructed homes that provided protection and comfort while enterprising developers and millionaires created a building vocabulary that aspired to fulfill the publics tropical fantasies. This course will look at key developments in Florida’s architecture, illustrated by visits to historic and contemporary buildings in the region. We will also explore how attitudes toward preservation have evolved and take a look at the agenda for the future.
Special Feature: Glimpse our past and present, and look toward the future with guided field trips to a variety of both public and private architectural landmarks in this community.
“Collecting” by Collectors
Dates: March 23, 24
Lecturer: Marshall Rousseau, Director Emeritus, The Salvador Dali Museum
No matter what your particular passion, putting together a satisfying collection in today’s highly completive market can be challenging if not downright daunting. Whether its fine art or folk art, navigating your way through the myriad of options available to contemporary collectors can end in frustration and disappointment. During this discussion-based workshop led by a former museum director, seasoned collectors offer inside advice for aspiring collectors. Topics will include: what to collect, how to define your collection, dealing with dealers, auction houses, galleries, the Internet and other resources, caring for your collection, tax considerations, and insurance issues. Come with questions and plan to leave with answers.
Special Event: A “collectors” cocktail party will provide an opportunity for one-on-one discussion with a wide variety of outstanding collectors who make their home in the Tampa Bay area.
Make ‘em Laugh: A Crash Course in Clowning with Circus Sarasota
Dates: March 23,24
Lecturer: Dolly Jacobs, Karen Bell, Chuck Sidlow, Pedro Reis
If you’ve always wanted to run away with the circus, here’s your opportunity to see if you’ve got the right stuff. Led by professionals from Circus Sarasota, this course will provide you with an understanding of the history and traditions of clowning as well as a hands-on opportunity to learn to make ‘em laugh. Topics will include an introduction to the types of clowns, the differences between American and European clowns, the importance of costume and the rituals of makeup, the use of props in designing a routine, working with children and adults, the tradition of slapstick, and a look at the ubiquitous birthday party clown.
Special Event: Sarasota is Circus City USA, thanks to John Ringling who established Winter Quarters here in 1927. Circus greats have made their home here ever since and you will have an opportunity to sit and talk with these living legends at a private reception.
The History of American Dance
Dates: March 30, 31
Lecturers: Dr. Sally Sommers, Professor of Dance History, Director, FSU in NYC, Florida State University
Dr. Tricia Young, Professor of Dance History, Director of the American Dance Studies Program, Florida State University
Celebrate the history of American dance from the colonial era to the present day. This program will explore how the forms and practices of the “Old World” were combined with elements of the “melting pot” to reveal fresh American forms created in the unique circumstances on the New World. We’ll look at the influences that shaped the development of dance in this country including African American, European American, Native American, and Hispanic American cultures. Using selections from Encouraging American Genius, from Corcoran Gallery, we’ll see how the visual arts function as documents that record movement, pose, and style of dress that illustrate the social context that shaped dancing.
Special Event: A performance by Sarasota’s first contemporary dance company, Fuzion Dance Artists, at the Historic Asolo Theater, will bring to life the topics discussed in this program.
An Illustrated History of America
Dates: April 20, 21
Lecturers: Dr. Justus Doenecke, Professor Emeritus, New College of Florida
Since its emergence as an independent genre in the 16th century, landscape painting has taken on many forms and directions. This seminar will examine various themes and movements associated with the depiction of natural landscape in European art between 1600 and 1900. Particular focus will be placed on works (paintings and drawings) and artists in the Ringling Museum’s collection including Adam Pynacker, Salvator Rosa, Marco Ricci, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Joseph Wright of Derby and Eugene Boudin. Lecture and discussion topics will include: the heroic and mythological landscape, the pastoral and picturesque, Italianate traditions, the Dutch Golden Age, the fete champetre and capriccio, and the Romantic and Realist visions.
The Ideal and the Real: Developments in European landscape
Dates: April 27, 28
Lecturers: Dr. Stephen Borys, Curator of Collections, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Understanding the historical and cultural environments in which art is created leads to a deeper appreciation and more informed interpretation of the works themselves. Mirroring the time period of the exhibition of American masterpieces from the Corocoran Gallery, Encouraging American Genius, this course will acquaint you with the history of the United States from the first days of independence to the conflict of the Second World War. Though primarily a lecture format, the course will be illustrated by selections from the Corcoran exhibition and punctuated with tours in the galleries.