Opening August 30, 2012
William of Orange, 2009
Museum Purchase, 2012
Collections are the very core of a museum. They provide the foundation and content supporting scholarship, interpretation, educational programming, and outreach.
The Ringling’s collections began with John Ringling’s gift to the people of Florida. He set out to collect art and build a museum to house it. The museum would forever bear his name and that of his wife, Mable. Since Mr. Ringling’s death in 1936, the collections have expanded in many different directions, in keeping with his original vision.
Museums are like living organisms. They must grow and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs and interests of their audiences, and remain relevant to the communities of which they form a part. Today’s museums rely increasingly on generous collectors who donate works with the understanding that they will be cared for in perpetuity, and displayed for the benefit of the public, now and in the future.
This exhibition of new acquisitions highlights the recent growth of the Ringling’s collections, made possible through the generosity of the Museum’s many supporters. The selection of works on display, ranging from contemporary glass to circus artifacts, gives a sense of the breadth of the collections, which have been enriched by more than 1,500 items in the last two years alone.