Collections

Each of The Ringling’s curators is responsible for a specific area of the collection. Curators are subject-matter experts who conduct research and organize related exhibitions or performances. The role of a curator may also include acquiring objects, commissioning new work, writing short informational labels for the galleries, publishing academic articles or exhibition catalogs, deciding how and when to display objects, and helping the public better understand their collection. Learn more about our curatorial team here:

 

Meet the Curators
Sarah Cartwright
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Sarah Cartwright is Chief Curator and Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections at The Ringling. She has a PhD in Art History and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Prior to her arrival at The Ringling in 2013, Cartwright was a research associate at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University, and a curator at Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. At The Ringling, Cartwright is responsible for the museum’s collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from antiquity to 1900 CE.  She has published and presented on a wide array of subjects, ranging from Italian manuscript illumination to ancient carved gemstones to the 19th-century French painter Rosa Bonheur. Her most recent project at The Ringling has been co-curating the international loan exhibition Guercino’s Friar with a Gold Earring: Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer and co-authoring its catalogue.

Elizabeth Doud
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Elizabeth Doud is the Currie-Kohlmann Curator of Performance at The Ringling, where she manages the presentation of provocative time-based art across a range of disciplines. A Florida-based arts professional, scholar and multi-disciplinary theater artist, Doud has over 25 years’ experience as an arts organizer, presenter, generative artist, and educator, with an emphasis on international cultural exchange and climate arts. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and a PhD in Performing Arts from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. From 2005-2018, Doud led the Performing Americas Program of the National Performance Network and was the Artistic Director of the Cultura del Lobo Series at Miami Dade College from 2009-2011. She created and toured her eco-performance laboratory The Mermaid Tear Factory in Brazil, Cuba, and South Florida during 2015-2018. Among other awards and recognition, she received a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant in 2018 and has twice been an invited Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. 

Christopher Jones
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Christopher Jones is the Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Arts at The Ringling.He has been a part of the curatorial team since 2012 and has curated numerous photography and contemporary art exhibitions includingTerritories: Photography, Space, and Power;Approaching the Border;Hank Willis Thomas: Branded/Unbranded;Coco Fusco: Twilight;Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Specters and Parables;Witness to War:and many others. His most recent major project, the exhibitionMetadata: Rethinking Photography in the 21stCenturyand its eponymous catalog, explored artists approaching photography as a conceptually expanded practice. Prior to The Ringling, Jones served as Assistant Curator of Prints and Photographs at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. He received his MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from the University of New Mexico. He has taught courses on the history of art and the history of photography at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL and at New College of Florida, Sarasota. 

Marissa Hershon
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Marissa Hershon joined The Ringling in 2019 as the Curator of Ca’ d’Zan and Decorative Arts. Hershon oversees Ca’ d’Zan, researching its architectural history, interiors, and furnishings, while also collaborating on the mansion’s historic preservation projects. Her purview of The Ringling’s decorative arts collection spans over 6,000 objects. Hershon also spearheads the museum’s glass collection and curates The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion. She specializes in decorative arts, design, and architectural history, with scholarship encompassing historic residential interiors, nineteenth– and twentieth-century silver, twentieth– and twenty-first-century studio glass, and women artists. Hershon has previously worked at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Chrysler Museum of Art, The Cincinnati Art Museum and The National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has been a contributing author for museum catalogs and has published on a wide variety of topics. She received her BA in Art History from Tulane University and MA in the History of Decorative Arts from The Corcoran College of Art + Design/The Smithsonian. 

Sarah Cartwright is Chief Curator and Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections at The Ringling. She has a PhD in Art History and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Prior to her arrival at The Ringling in 2013, Cartwright was a research associate at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University, and a curator at Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. At The Ringling, Cartwright is responsible for the museum’s collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from antiquity to 1900 CE.  She has published and presented on a wide array of subjects, ranging from Italian manuscript illumination to ancient carved gemstones to the 19th-century French painter Rosa Bonheur. Her most recent project at The Ringling has been co-curating the international loan exhibition Guercino’s Friar with a Gold Earring: Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer and co-authoring its catalogue.

Elizabeth Doud is the Currie-Kohlmann Curator of Performance at The Ringling, where she manages the presentation of provocative time-based art across a range of disciplines. A Florida-based arts professional, scholar and multi-disciplinary theater artist, Doud has over 25 years’ experience as an arts organizer, presenter, generative artist, and educator, with an emphasis on international cultural exchange and climate arts. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and a PhD in Performing Arts from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. From 2005-2018, Doud led the Performing Americas Program of the National Performance Network and was the Artistic Director of the Cultura del Lobo Series at Miami Dade College from 2009-2011. She created and toured her eco-performance laboratory The Mermaid Tear Factory in Brazil, Cuba, and South Florida during 2015-2018. Among other awards and recognition, she received a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant in 2018 and has twice been an invited Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. 

Christopher Jones is the Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Arts at The Ringling.He has been a part of the curatorial team since 2012 and has curated numerous photography and contemporary art exhibitions includingTerritories: Photography, Space, and Power;Approaching the Border;Hank Willis Thomas: Branded/Unbranded;Coco Fusco: Twilight;Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Specters and Parables;Witness to War:and many others. His most recent major project, the exhibitionMetadata: Rethinking Photography in the 21stCenturyand its eponymous catalog, explored artists approaching photography as a conceptually expanded practice. Prior to The Ringling, Jones served as Assistant Curator of Prints and Photographs at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. He received his MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from the University of New Mexico. He has taught courses on the history of art and the history of photography at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL and at New College of Florida, Sarasota. 

Marissa Hershon joined The Ringling in 2019 as the Curator of Ca’ d’Zan and Decorative Arts. Hershon oversees Ca’ d’Zan, researching its architectural history, interiors, and furnishings, while also collaborating on the mansion’s historic preservation projects. Her purview of The Ringling’s decorative arts collection spans over 6,000 objects. Hershon also spearheads the museum’s glass collection and curates The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion. She specializes in decorative arts, design, and architectural history, with scholarship encompassing historic residential interiors, nineteenth– and twentieth-century silver, twentieth– and twenty-first-century studio glass, and women artists. Hershon has previously worked at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Chrysler Museum of Art, The Cincinnati Art Museum and The National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has been a contributing author for museum catalogs and has published on a wide variety of topics. She received her BA in Art History from Tulane University and MA in the History of Decorative Arts from The Corcoran College of Art + Design/The Smithsonian. 

Jennifer Lemmer Posey
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Jennifer Lemmer Posey, the Tibbals Curator of Circus, has worked with the circus collections at The Ringling for over twenty years. She oversees and interprets the museum’s collection of objects and ephemera related to the history of the circus, including the Howard Bros. Circus Model, the Wisconsin Pullman Car, bandwagons, posters, costumes and more. With research interests focused on the relationship of the circus arts, mass media, and popular culture, Lemmer Posey has published in The American Circus, The Amazing American Circus Poster, and Early Popular Visual Culture. From 2013 to 2017, she served as editor for Bandwagon, the Journal of the Circus Historical Society and was an Advisory Scholar for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrating the Circus Arts in 2017. Lemmer Posey has curated a wide array of exhibitions at The Ringling, including the reinstallation of the Historic Circus Galleries, A Kaleidoscope of Color: The Costume Designs of Miles White, and regular rotations of the poster galleries in the Tibbals Learning Center. 

 

Rhiannon Paget
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Rhiannon Paget has been The Ringling’s Curator of Asian Art since 2017, overseeing a wide-ranging collection of art created by a diversity of cultural groups from prehistoric times to the present. She has curated numerous special exhibitions at The Ringling, including Mountains of the Mind: Scholars’ Rocks from China and Beyond; Gods & Lovers: Paintings and Sculptures from India; and Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening. Paget earned her PhD from the University of Sydney and specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japanese visual culture. Paget’s work has been widely published, and she is the author of several books, including Divine Felines: The Cat in Japanese Art; Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening; and Hokusai; and co-author of Japanese Prints in Transition: From the Floating World to the Modern World; Hiroshige & Eisen: The Sixty-Nine Stations along the Kisokaidō; and Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan. She serves on the editorial committee for the Society of Japanese Art’s Andon journal. Prior to coming to The Ringling, Paget was the A.W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.  

Ola Wlusek
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Ola Wlusek has been The Ringling’s Keith D. Monda Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art since 2018. She is a 2021 recipient of a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for the development ofReclaiming Home: Contemporary Seminole Art (2023), The Ringling’s first exhibition and publication of Native American art. Wlusek has curated many significant solo exhibitions at The Ringling, including June Clark: Harlem: Quilt; Ya Levy La’ford: American/Rōōts; Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy;and Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems. She also organizes exhibitions from permanent collection, including As long as there is sun, as long as there is light;Larry Rivers: Boston Massacre; andRemaking the World, among others. Prior to joining The Ringling, Wlusek was a Public Art Program Coordinator for the City of Calgary in Alberta; from 2011 to 2015 she was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery in Ontario. Wlusek earned an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Jennifer Lemmer Posey, the Tibbals Curator of Circus, has worked with the circus collections at The Ringling for over twenty years. She oversees and interprets the museum’s collection of objects and ephemera related to the history of the circus, including the Howard Bros. Circus Model, the Wisconsin Pullman Car, bandwagons, posters, costumes and more. With research interests focused on the relationship of the circus arts, mass media, and popular culture, Lemmer Posey has published in The American Circus, The Amazing American Circus Poster, and Early Popular Visual Culture. From 2013 to 2017, she served as editor for Bandwagon, the Journal of the Circus Historical Society and was an Advisory Scholar for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrating the Circus Arts in 2017. Lemmer Posey has curated a wide array of exhibitions at The Ringling, including the reinstallation of the Historic Circus Galleries, A Kaleidoscope of Color: The Costume Designs of Miles White, and regular rotations of the poster galleries in the Tibbals Learning Center. 

 

Rhiannon Paget has been The Ringling’s Curator of Asian Art since 2017, overseeing a wide-ranging collection of art created by a diversity of cultural groups from prehistoric times to the present. She has curated numerous special exhibitions at The Ringling, including Mountains of the Mind: Scholars’ Rocks from China and Beyond; Gods & Lovers: Paintings and Sculptures from India; and Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening. Paget earned her PhD from the University of Sydney and specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japanese visual culture. Paget’s work has been widely published, and she is the author of several books, including Divine Felines: The Cat in Japanese Art; Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening; and Hokusai; and co-author of Japanese Prints in Transition: From the Floating World to the Modern World; Hiroshige & Eisen: The Sixty-Nine Stations along the Kisokaidō; and Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan. She serves on the editorial committee for the Society of Japanese Art’s Andon journal. Prior to coming to The Ringling, Paget was the A.W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.  

Ola Wlusek has been The Ringling’s Keith D. Monda Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art since 2018. She is a 2021 recipient of a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for the development ofReclaiming Home: Contemporary Seminole Art (2023), The Ringling’s first exhibition and publication of Native American art. Wlusek has curated many significant solo exhibitions at The Ringling, including June Clark: Harlem: Quilt; Ya Levy La’ford: American/Rōōts; Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy;and Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems. She also organizes exhibitions from permanent collection, including As long as there is sun, as long as there is light;Larry Rivers: Boston Massacre; andRemaking the World, among others. Prior to joining The Ringling, Wlusek was a Public Art Program Coordinator for the City of Calgary in Alberta; from 2011 to 2015 she was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery in Ontario. Wlusek earned an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Collections Online

Did you know that you can access information on nearly 45,000 objects in The Ringling collection online? Dive in and take a look around!

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Conservation

One of our museum’s most important and essential tasks is the preservation of its treasures for future generations. Our conservation responsibility extends not only to objects in our diverse museum collections but also to the unique historic architecture of Ca’ d’Zan and the Museum of Art.

 

We aim to mitigate damage and deterioration to objects through appropriate storage, handling, display, and maintenance, so that conservation and restoration treatment will not be required. When conservation is necessary, conservators perform delicate treatments to help stabilize objects and return their structure and appearance to a state that more closely resembles that intended by the artist. These specialists adhere to a professional code of ethics in all aspects of documentation, treatment, research, and other conservation activities.

Located in the Education Center, the Conservation Laboratory provides a spacious and well-equipped space for the study and treatment of objects in our collections. Conservators deal with works being considered for acquisition, in addition to those selected for display at The Ringling or for loan to exhibitions organized by other museums. The technical study of the materials and techniques employed in creating museum objects contributes to a better understanding of these works.

Image Rights

The graphics, images, and text from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Website are copyrighted and redistribution or commercial use is prohibited without express written permission in accordance. Learn about policies and how to request image permissions.

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Requesting Access

Access to collection materials which are not on display is provided on a case-by-case basis. Priority will be given to those with a current research project or an institutional affiliation. Access to materials is dependent upon staff availability and the item being requested. Not all requests will be honored.

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Donations

Through the generosity of individuals and organizations, the museum’s collection continues to grow, assuring that we represent a global spectrum of the arts.  Read on to learn how we determine if a donation is appropriate for the collection.

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Provenance Project

The purpose of the Provenance Project is to determine whether any objects that entered John Ringling’s collection after 1932 (and the Museum’s collection since 1936) could have been unlawfully appropriated by the Nazi regime and not subsequently restituted to their rightful owners.

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