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Gifts of Artwork

While The Ringling accepts donations of art, we have certain procedures in place which ensure that the donation is appropriate for the collection.

How does a donation happen?

Generally, a donor notifies us of their desire to donate an object by contacting one of our curators, archivists, or librarians. Once that staff member determines that the object fits within our collection scope, an internal group consisting of curators, registrars, conservators, and other professionals determines if the potential donation should be considered for acceptance. At this point, the object is presented to the Collections Committee – which is made up of staff, and of members of the Board of Directors of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. – for their consideration. The Collections Committee gives final recommendation to the Board of Directors. At one of their regularly scheduled meetings, the Board of Directors makes a final decision on accepting the donation.

Certain library and archival materials are accepted into research collections which are not under the purview of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc., and may be accepted without approval of its Board of Directors.

Once a donation is accepted, arrangements are then made for its shipment to The Ringling.

What does The Ringling collect?

The types of items which The Ringling collects is driven by the current Collections Management Policy, as well as other internal procedures and considerations. Currently, our focus includes:

  • Adding selectively to the European art collection, Asian art collection, and to other important existing collections to maintain the Museum's comparative advantage nationally and its position internationally. 
  • Developing the collection of Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Art, Contemporary, Visual, and Performance Art. 
  • Maintaining and further developing a nationally and regionally important archival collection of high quality and historically important circus-related artifacts to present the history of the American circus through permanent and rotating exhibitions in the Museum of the Circus, and to serve as an educational resource encouraging scholarly research. 
  • Maintaining and collecting an adequate number of decorative art objects to support exhibitions of decorative art and to further the understanding and appreciation of the other collections in the Museum. 
  • Maintaining and further developing a regionally important library of institutional records, monographs, exhibition catalogues, handbooks of museums and private collections, directories, indices and abstracts, and manuscript material to document the history of the Museum, the Ringling family and the American Circus, and to maintain the collection of books from John Ringling’s personal library .

 

How do I donate?

If you have an item which you would like us to consider for donation, email collections@ringling.org and include the following information:

  • Name or title of object
  • Maker
  • Maker’s biographical information
  • Date of object
  • Materials the object is made of
  • General condition of the object
  • Provenance (history of ownership) of the object
  • Images of the object
  • Your information including:
    • Name
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Mailing address
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