A few months ago, a TV station in Tampa aired a story about the Ca’ d’Zan mansion in Sarasota. I remembered that I had been there several years ago and found all the photos I had taken. So, I thought I’d write about this amazing home built for John and Mable Ringling of Ringling Bros. Circus fame.
The Ringlings loved the city of Venice, Italy and wanted their winter home to reflect the beauty and grandeur of the Venetian Gothic architecture they admired. They commissioned architect Dwight James Baum to design the house. It was completed at the end of 1925 at a cost of $1.5 million.
Ca’ d’Zan, which means “House of John” in Venetian, has 41 rooms filled with art and original furnishings, about 95% of them are original pieces purchased by Mable. There are 15 bathrooms in this five story, 36,000 square foot residence. The mansion overlooks Sarasota Bay, a location that the Ringlings chose because it reminded them of the Grand Canal of Venice.
After completing the Ca’ d’Zan mansion, Ringling commissioned the building of an art museum on the property to house his personal art collection. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the official state art museum of Florida. It opened in October of 1931.
The 21 galleries contain more than 10,000 objects including sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, tapestries and paintings, some by world-renowned artists Rubens, El Greco, Titian, van Dyck and Tintoretto. The museum emulates the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy.
Dates of Visit: June 2003
If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog: http://ilovebritishtv.com