The Johnson-Blalock Education Center houses the extensive Art Library and provides classroom space for adult and childrens programming that enriches and enlivens interest in art. The Education Center is also home to our state-of-the-art Conservation Lab where the treasures of The Ringling are preserved and protected.
Established with The Ringling’s opening in 1946, the Art library is one of the largest and most comprehensive art research libraries in the southeastern United States. The collection strengths reflect those of the Museum’s collections and The Ringling experience.
The Reading Room overlooks the scenic grounds of the Museum and provides a comfortable area for reading and research. While the collection does not circulate, the Library is available to the public and the stacks are open for browsing. Some materials are available to university students through Interlibrary Loan.
Librarians are available to help with research questions in person between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment. Reference questions can also be submitted online or by calling the Library at 941-359-5700, ex. 2703. View Library Resources.
The conservation of its treasures for future generations is one of a Museum’s most important and essential tasks. At The Ringling, this responsibility is central to our mission, extending not only to the art and artifacts of Museum of Art, but to Ca' d’Zan, the Circus Museum and the Historic Asolo Theater as well.
While each of these venues and the work found in them requires different types of care, we strive to display, handle and maintain their collections in ways that assure their long-term stability. We also work to prevent damage by constantly monitoring the environment in which the work is kept, considering climate control, light levels and proper installation. Our treatments are designed to be reversible and as minimally invasive as possible so that as new treatment methods and technologies emerge they can be employed for the restoration of a piece. And because we always consider our aesthetic responsibility not to obscure the artist’s original intent in creating the work, we strive to reintegrate any areas of treatment without drawing attention to our work.
Please note: The Conservation Lab is not open to the public.