|PRESENTATION: Preview of play "Other Desert Cities, by our local Theatre Maven. |
FIELD TRIP: We begin our exploration as an expert guides you through palatial Ca' d'Zan, described as "the last of the Gilded Age mansions" to be built in America. John and Mable Ringling greatly admired the unique architectural style of the Danieli and the Bauer-Grunwald hotels in Venice, as well as palaces that face the Venetian canals. This architectural style, called "Venetian Gothic," greatly influenced the Ca'Zan's design. A comprehensive six-year, $15 million restoration and conservation was completed on Ca'Zan in 2002.
The Ringling complex contains numerous wonders and we move next to the Circus Museum, established in 1948. Document circuses of the past and today as you view colossal parade and baggage wagons, sequined costumes, memorabilia and artifacts documenting the history of The Ringling family circus, John Ringling as the Circus King, and the greatest circus movie, The Greatest Show on Earth, was filmed in Sarasota.
Next is the museum's Tibbals Learning Center with an exhibition of circus posters. Ranging in size from window to barn sized, these colorful posters were plastered on buildings, walls and fences all across America and broadcasted in no uncertain terms that the circus was coming to town. The learning center also contains the world's largest miniature circus "the Howard Bros. Circus Model" a replica of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1919-1938, created over a period of more than 50-years.