The Ringling Circus Museums in Sarasota, FL
For residents and visitors alike, the Circus Museum in Sarasota is truly amazing! Indulge in your childish side and enjoy the legacy of John Ringling’s “Greatest Show on Earth,” part of Sarasota, Florida’s history. You’ll see the restored Wisconsin, John and Mable Ringling’s private railroad car, ornately carved parade wagons, historical handbills and art prints as well as circus papers, performer’s wardrobes and more.
Be sure to spend some time viewing the Howard Bros. Circus Model This replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus showcases eight main tents comprising 152 wagons, 1300 circus performers and workers, approximately 800 animals and a circus trail with 52 cars. The replica comprises 3800 square feet in the circus Museum’s Tibbals Learning Center. Howard Tibbals of Tennessee created this master model which is the “largest miniature circus in the world.”
You might want to visit the Amazing American Circus Poster special exhibition at the Ringling Museum of Art which is on display through January 29, 2012. Visit ringling.org for more information.
The posters produced from 1878 to 1939, the Golden Age of the Circus, portray the span from “P.T. Barnum’s greatest show on earth” to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The exhibit is on display in the Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing of the Ringling Museum.