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Dear Friends:

My outing this past week was to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. P. Buckley Moss Society Board of Directors member and Vice President, Publications, Marlyn De Waard and I drove down from St. Petersburg. We met former Board of Directors President Noreen Newman Johnson and her husband George there, and we had the best time. Noreen and George live in Michigan and are visiting in Bradenton, Florida.

L. to R., me, Marlyn, Noreen, and George. We really enjoyed our visit to the Ringling Museum. Isn't the restored Ringling mansion beautiful!

The Ringling Museum has been designated as the official state art museum for Florida and has recently undergone a $76 million expansion and renovation. Its features include a 10,000 object, twenty-one gallery art museum; a circus museum; the Asolo Theater; Cà d'Zan, the Ringlings' newly restored mansion; the Visitors' Pavilion; the Education and Conservation Complex; the Tibbals Learning Center and Miniature Circus; and the Searing Wing, a 30,000-square-foot gallery for special exhibitions attached to the art museum. In addition there is a beautiful rose garden and magnificent banyan trees. Tickets were only $19 apiece, and we stayed the whole day. I could hardly believe what a bargain it was.

The banyan trees on the grounds of the Ringling Museum were a gift many years ago from the Thomas Edison estate in Ft. Myers, FL.

There were two exhibits that I particularly enjoyed, and those were on Grandma Moses and Jacob Lawrence. I got to see a video-taped interview with Grandma Moses, which was very special; and, the Jacob Lawrence exhibit was really terrific. Jacob Lawrence was an African American artist who studied art in New York City. He is perhaps most famous for his sixty-panel set of narrative paintings entitled Migration of the Negro. The series, painted around 1940, is a moving portrayal of the migration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the rural South to the North after World War I. It was shown in New York and brought him national recognition.

I was delighted to find a bronze casting of Michelangelo's David on the museum grounds. Ah! Those magnificent buns! Bless Michelangelo!

We took a tour of the Cà d'Zan mansion, and it was breathtaking. It has a tiled terrace overlooking the water, and both the view and the terrace are truly remarkable. I would love to spend an evening dancing on that terrace! We all agreed that we wouldn't mind cooking in the kitchen.

Another favorite was the museum dedicated to the history of the American circus.

I loved it all; and, if you're ever in Sarasota, I highly recommend the Ringling Museum.

'Til next week...


I also went to a Super Bowl party and stayed for the whole thing this time. I usually leave early, but the game was so close and so much was at stake that I just had to see it through. Congratulations, New York! I must also say congratulations to New England, because they had a perfect season aside from the Super Bowl game.

The Moss Portfolio
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©P. Buckley Moss 2005

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