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Director's Welcome

Welcome to The Ringling

As a preeminent center for art, history, and learning, The Ringling is dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and interpretation of our collections. Careful stewardship of the objects placed in our care—whether 2,500 or 25 years old—is one of our key responsibilities, and conservation is fundamental to maintaining their integrity in perpetuity. This core commitment extends well beyond the works of art in our collections. It also encompasses our landmark buildings and grounds, since the entire Ringling campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our 4,300-square foot Cuneo Conservation Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility, staffed by three full-time conservators. Chief Conservator Barbara Ramsay was Senior Conservator of Fine Art at the National Gallery of Canada and later Director of Conservation at the ARTEX Conservation Laboratory in Washington, DC, managing major projects at the US Capitol, among other high-profile initiatives, before joining The Ringling in 2014. 

Over the past two years, Conservation has examined and analyzed nearly 350 paintings in our Renaissance and Baroque collections to inform the groundbreaking research featured in the first major scholarly catalogue of these priceless European treasures. Scheduled to be published late next year, the 400-page book will include new photography of every object, including new infrared images, accompanied by provenance, history, attribution, and technical details. Next, our Conservation team will prioritize and begin the conservation treatment of works scheduled for reinstallation in the original 21 galleries in the Museum of Art.

Parallel conservation efforts around our campus continue, from ongoing work on the exterior ornamentation of Ca’ d’Zan and lanterns, columns, and sculpture on the Museum of Art loggia, to care of our collection of 8,000 circus posters in the Tibbals Learning Center, and conservation of the Historic Asolo Theater. The pipeline of preservation and conservation initiatives at The Ringling is always full, as we take active steps to ensure our objects and facilities remain in stable condition. A leader in the field,The Ringling considers conservation to be both a vital obligation as well as an institutional cornerstone for excellence. 

Steven High
Executive Director

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