5778 Clark Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34233
Phone: (941) 921-7750
Fax: (941) 925-2474
Arts & Museums
The Palmers, an eminent Chicago family bought The Spanish Point in the early 1900s and it remained a family property till the 1980s, when it was donated to Gulf Coast Heritage Association. Spread across 30 acres (12.14 hectares), Historic Spanish Point is an archaeological site and museum. It includes prehistoric burial mounds and various historic buildings. The Osprey School is used as a visitors center. The site also features gardens, chapel, cemetery and walking trails. Visit Historic Spanish Point for an educative and a fun day out.
G.WIZ stands for Gulf Coast Wonder and imagination Zone; and this museum is all about using the imagination to have fun as well as learn about things. A great way to spend a day with the kids. See website for more information.
The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is every motor-head’s dream come true. How the museum came into existence is quite an interesting story. The museum was set up during the County's population boom in the late 1900s. Brothers Herbert and Bob Horn collected old cars as a hobby and decided to make their hobby a museum and share their passion. Originally the museum was called Horns’ Cars of Yesterday, and later took up its current name. The museum is a perfect showcase of antique four-wheelers in all their glory. The museum also has on display automobiles that will never be created again. John Lennon’s 1956 Bentley and Paul McCartney’s Mini Cooper are also now a part of this collection. The museum also has a section where they have showcased arcade games of the past and an antique camera display. The gift shop at the museum has some very interesting items like books on automobiles that are hard to find and references and pictures of cars that don’t exist today. They also have regular events like an Elvis Tribute Show and Car Shows. The museum moonlights as a venue for private events and other occasions as well. They promise to meet your budget preferences and give you a fabulous setting for your formal or casual event. Do check the website for details.
Florida State University/Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts is a collection of Ringling Museum, Ca' d'Zan, Ringling Museum of the Circus, Asolo Center for the Performing Arts and Florida State University Sarasota Dance. The art museum started off as the personal collection of John Ringling. What started in 1925 was only completed in 1931 and opened for all to see. The museum showcased classic and prized paintings and sculpture of artists like Veronese, El Greco, Rubens and Velázquez. The art pieces vary from American, European to Asian art and is a fabulous amalgamation of art. The museum organizes regular events like lectures and other programs. There is also a well-stocked art library with everything connected to art. The center imparts education and is focused on every kind of art; visual arts, performing arts, arts and cultural education and history and cultural programs. The history and cultural programs division includes the maintenance and preservation of the home of the Ringlings; the Ca' d'Zan. Do check the website.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is Florida's official art museum and combines fine art, architecture and performing arts under one roof. It is named after John Nicholas Ringling, a legendary man who pioneered the concept of the modern circus along with his six brothers. Sprawled over the banks of the Sarasota Bay, it is a huge complex comprising the main Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, the historic Asolo Theater, the Ca’ d’Zan house and the magnificent Bayfront Gardens. This museum houses more than 10,000 works of notable artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Eugène Boudin, Marcel Duchamp, Gianlorenzo Bernini and Benjamin West. Visit the circus-themed museum to view the largest circus miniature on earth, then explore the Venetian Gothic Ca’ d’Zan home. Walk along the picturesque Millennium Tree Trail and Bayfront Promenade to enjoy views of the bay and gardens. The estate is also home to the Mable’s Rose Garden and the Dwarf Garden. Given the sheer breadth of the museum, it is best to embark on a guided tour.
The Circus Museum was the first museum to showcase miniatures, records and props related to the circus. Conceived in 1948, this marvel continues to delight children and adults with its artifacts that nostalgically recreate the magic of the circus world. Sit on a colorful toy train, befriend clowns, view fairyland chariots, old costumes and gigantic circus posters with retro art. Visit the Tibbals Learning Center to see one of the largest miniatures of a circus in the world. Indeed, the Howard Bros. Circus Model features an astounding 44,000 dolls and props, depicting carousels, dance scenes, railway stations and general town life. Another attraction is The Greatest Show on Earth Mural, a colossal wall art with a height spanning two floors. Its magnificent colors, sheer drama and intricate graphic art spellbind visitors. This museum offers guided, group and private tours.
The South Florida Museum in Bradenton is located along 10th Street West. The museum has a great collection of relics and fossils of mammals and marine animals in the area. The museum also has detailed exhibits of the Paleoindian, Native American and other historic cultures and how they evolved over time. Some of these exhibits are Fabulous Florida Seas, Archaic Peoples, Land of Change, among others. The museum also has a hall of Medical History, where you can see the advances medical science has made. Apart from permanent displays, the museum also showcases temporary exhibits on a regular basis, including a photography workshop focusing on wildlife photography.