Right This Way to the Circus Museum
Discover the history of the American circus through special exhibitions, displays and interactive galleries.
A Terrace of Dreams
Today’s special events bring back the faint echoes of music and laughter and love that lived here once and live here yet again.
Welcome to the Ringling Museum of Art
31 galleries filled with works of antiquities, old masters and modern visionaries, the Ringling Museum is a jewel set on Sarasota’s beautiful Bayfront.
The Bayfront Gardens
Riot with greenery and sculpted gardens, the Ringling’s 66-acres are a rich collection of tropical flora as inspiring as any work of art here.
Thank you for your interest in inviting a speaker from The Ringling to your gathering! We love sharing the museum with our community and are always happy to talk about the work we do. The Ringling offers a variety of programs for your enjoyment. Please review the categories listed below before making your selection.
1. General overview of The Ringling: provides and introduction to the museum, its history, and current exhibitions. Presented by Marketing and Communications or Development staff members.
2. Promotion of specific performance/exhibition: please indicate if there is a specific performance/exhibition you are interested in or if you would like a preview of the upcoming season. Presented by a variety of Ringling staff members.
3. Educational museum programs: a variety of topics are available (see below) and custom programs are also available. Facilitated by museum educators.
4. Lecture related to the museum's Art Library: topics may include the history of our library, rare books in our Special Collections, John Ringling as a collector of books, or how to research a work. Presented by staff librarians.
5. Specific Topic/specialized lecture: Presented by curators or historian based on areas of expertise. Please note these are subject to speaker availability.
6. Executive overview: Presented by The Ringling’s Executive Director. Please note this is subject to speaker availability.
To assist us in finding the best speaker for you, please complete this online form. Once we’ve received the form submission, we will reach out to you via email about the next steps.
Please note: there are fees for certain speakers/topics. If this presents a hardship to your organization, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
All speakers are subject to availability and specific dates and times cannot be guaranteed.
Topics for educational museum programs
Let’s Run Away to the Circus!
Join us for a virtual program with Ringling Museum educators as they give us a behind-the-scenes look at the early 20th century circus. This program will be use historic photographs and other objects from the Ringling Museum collection to illustrate stories of performers, managers, animals, spectators, and everyone in between. As we recount the golden days of circus, we’ll invite you to share your own circus memories as well!
Virtual Gallery Conversations are educator-facilitated discussions based on a selection of artworks from the Museum collection. These programs will encourage group participation.
• Eating Our Way Through the Museum: There’s no food or drink allowed in the galleries – but it’s encouraged on this virtual gallery conversation! We’ll eat our way through the museum while looking at delicious depictions of food in the collection.
• Man’s Best Friend: Artists include dogs in paintings for a wide variety of reasons. Join this conversation about a selection of artworks featuring our favorite canine companions.
• Leisure Time: Vacations certainly look different in the time of COVID-19, but we’ll reminisce about lazy days spent boating, fishing, picnicking, traveling, and more.
• Let’s Get to Work: We’ll look at images of people working hard at a variety of trades in the collection during this virtual gallery conversation.
• Spooky Stories: Art isn’t always pretty and relaxing! Join us for a look at some of the scary and creepy works in the museum's collection.
• Gratitude and Thanksgiving: What are you thankful for? In this conversation, we'll share what makes us grateful and discuss how those themes are reflected in the museum's collection.
• New Year, New Me: You can work on self-improvement any time of the year! We’ll pick some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and see how they show up in artwork from the collection.
• Thanks, Mom: Every day should be mother’s day! We’ll discuss images of motherhood represented in the collection.
• Journeys in Art: Join us to explore stories of travel and migration represented in the museum collection.
• Memory and Loss: Since the beginning, art has been a way to memorialize loss and remember loved ones. We’ll share objects from the collection that do so in different ways.
• Portraiture: Before we had selfies, we had painted portraits! What information can we extrapolate about a person based on how they chose to be commemorated? We’ll explore this question and more.
• Strong Women: Women have been making history since the beginning of time. On this tour, you'll meet some of the heroines in the Ringling's collection and hear their stories.