No trip to Sarasota Florida would be complete without visiting the Ringling Museum and Mansion.
John and Mable Ringling wintered in Sarasota beginning in 1909 and in 1927 moved his circus to the Sarasota area during the off season. The Ringling Museum looms large in the city. As usual click each photo for a better view.
The grounds are divided into exhibits that highlight the Ringling Brothers Circus, John and Mable's mansion, and the Ringling Art Museum which houses the couple's art collection. There is so much to see that I decided to divide the photos into to two parts: the Circus followed by the Ca'D'Zan mansion and grounds.
The exhibits of the circus cover such items as costumes, colorful trailers,
and the mobile cannon(the one the man was shot out of under the "big top.")
There is a special section for one of my childhood favorite clowns, Emmet Kelly. I never liked clowns but Kelly was different. "Weary Willie" based on the hobos of the depression was somehow lovable and sad at the same time.
His popularity spanned generations and that lovable sadness is evident in the picture shown here.
The circus could almost be considered a traveling city because there were so many people involved in producing "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Ringling developed train travel into almost an art form in terms of the organization that was required to pack up and arrive at the next city. So much so that during WWII the army came to study how they organized the transport!
On a personal level, John Ringling was able to bring sheer opulence to his own travel by train as he followed the circus. His personal car measured 79 ft long, 14 ft high, and 10 ft wide, which allowed him to include all the amenities of a traveling millionaire.
The pictures of his bathroom (with a full size tub)...
and lounge car illustrate that he wanted for nothing and had all the comforts of home, just on rails!
John Ringling was a man who lived large! And, we will see just how large when we view the mansion Ca'D'Zan...