Sarasota, FL — October 6, 2010 — A set of tapestries from the world-renowned collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, woven with gold, silver, silk and wool depicting the legend of the founding of Rome will be exhibited from October 9, 2010 to January 2, 2011 at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla.
Threads of Gold: Renaissance Tapestries from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, is an exhibition consisting of eight recently restored, wall-sized tapestries, which are part of a series.
“It is a rare opportunity to experience one of the world’s most important tapestry collections ever made,” said T. Marshall Rousseau, interim director for The Ringling Museum.
The exhibit is organized by the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna, Austria and the International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. It showcases tapestries comparable in artistic importance and richness to the tapestries in The Royal Palace in Madrid, the Mobilier National in Paris and the former possessions of the Medici Family in Florence, Italy.
“This tapestry series immortalizes the lives of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who became identifiable figures for Renaissance rulers,” explained Dr. Virginia Brilliant, Associate Curator of European Art for The Ringling Museum. “These wall coverings are an interpretation of their struggles and ambitions. They are particularly compelling for their enormous scale and fantastic detail. They are also emblematic of the influence of the Italian Renaissance on Flemish tapestry production during the mid to late 16th-century.”
In the late Renaissance, and Baroque periods, tapestries were among the most prestigious objects owned by the European elite, surpassing the cost of sculptures and paintings. Prior to the Kunsthistoriches Museum, this collection resided in The House of Hapsburg, Austria’s royal family. Six of the eight tapestries presented in this exhibition were once owned by the Emperor Matthias. The other two are from another 16th-century set that belonged to the Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), husband of Empress Maria Theresia (1717-1780).
On display in the Searing Wing, the tapestry exhibition will be one of the main attractions during the visual arts showcase at the Ringling International Arts Festival, held October 13-17, 2010 at The Ringling Museum of Art. It will also the focal point for Ringling’s Saturday Family Days, October 23 to December 18, 2010, when children of all ages can learn to weave tapestries taking inspiration from these magnificent creations.
General Admission includes the Ringling Museum of Art, special exhibitions, Ca d’Zan Mansion, Circus Museum, and Mable’s historic Rose Garden, all on 66 acres of lushly landscaped grounds. Adults are $25; senior citizens (65 and over) are $20; children ages 6-17 are $10. Free Admission for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult, museum members. Advance tickets are available by calling 941.358.3180. Visit www.ringling.org for more information.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Florida State University, is one of the largest museum/university complexes in the nation. It preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling, educating and enabling a large and diverse audience to experience and take delight in a world-renowned collection of fine art; Cà d’Zan, the Ringling historic mansion; the Circus Museum; the Original Asolo Theater; and historic architecture, courtyard, gardens and grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.