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Director's Welcome

Welcome to The Ringling!

Steven High, Executive DirectorI want to welcome you to 2021!  A new year always brings a chance for renewal and reinvigoration. I know that our entire Ringling family is breathing a sigh of relief as 2020 moves into the rear view mirror. Your museum and her staff have stood strong through the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in an unprecedented closure of the museum and furloughs for some staff members. I am very proud of the manner in which the museum’s staff have pulled together and taken care of each other through this
tumultuous time. Your continued support means more now than ever before and we greatly appreciate your membership, donations, and attendance.

The new year also brings some wonderful opportunities to experience The Ringling—both in person and virtually. We have several exciting and poignant exhibitions opening.

One of the museum’s favorite paintings will be displayed in Frans Hals: Detecting a Decade, opening February 14. The Ringling’s portrait of Pieter Jacobsz. Olycan, executed about 1639, will be displayed side-by-side with a second portrait by Hals of Olycan (private collection), painted about ten years earlier.

Through close examination and comparison of these two portraits of the same person, the exhibition will shed light on Hals’s revolutionary painting technique, and will explain how his work evolved over the decade of the 1630s.

On February 21 The Ringling will open Sam Gilliam: Selections, an exhibition drawn primarily from local collections in the Sarasota/Manatee area. Gilliam is one of the most significant abstract painters of the last 60 years. Through unique works and limited edition prints, the exhibition demonstrates the artist’s extraordinary experimentation and expansion of the boundaries of painting.

Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening will open March 14. Saitō Kiyoshi (1907–1997) is one of the best-known Japanese print artists of the twentieth century. This beautiful exhibition will present recent donations of artworks from Charles and Robyn Citrin. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of this artist’s work in the United States.

While we hope to see you all in person during 2021, we understand if that is not possible and look forward to seeing you at our virtual programs and events.

Steven High
Executive Director

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