Sunday, March 16, 2014

Florida Gem

I was born in Florida and I live in Orlando. That posits me for day trips to amazing places that tourists may not schedule for their visit. Yesterday was one such glorious day.  We trekked to Sarasota to spend the day at the Ringling Museum of Art.  The sixty-six acre museum was bequeathed to the state of Florida in 1936.  It is a space for everyone young and old alike to wonder.

Talk about imagination, creativity and risk-taking.    The circus brought imagination to small towns.  I loved the line from Emily Dickinson that was posted in the exhibit. It read, "Friday, I tasted life. It was a vast morsel. A circus passed the house."  Saturday, we tasted life as we went behind the curtain of the circus and all that was Ringling.  It is hard to imagine the scale of the circus that time when all set up was done by hand and travel by trains.  The scale of the circus in its heyday speaks of 4000 meals served daily to staff on china. No dishwashers.

We enjoyed the 22 art galleries.  The art hailed from the Renaissance and later.  We introduced our daughter to Rubens and El Greco. She was attracted to art in which she could identify Greek mythology.  I loved being able to identify artists and their works from my past art history classes. My husband wanted more modern art, but enjoyed the furniture---the woodwork  Despite being broke at this death, Ringling never gave up his art collection and we are his beneficiaries.

The art that spoke to me most and I am still thinking about was the art of R. Luke DuBois.  His multimedia art captivated me. As a wordsmith I am still thinking about the glyphs from the Hindsight is always 20/20 installation which was part of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  He created eye charts based on the 66 most recurring words from presidential inauguration speeches and it is a history lesson.

Spring was abloom and that reflected in the flowering spaces. Giant banyan trees provided shade.  Frantic set-up for a wedding did not curtail our fun. My daughter and nephews delighted from the recently installed artful playground with basket swings and slide.

We closed the day with sunset celebration on the beach.  Florida is one such place where you can watch the sunrise and sunset coast-to-coast.  I actually want to do that one day.  But yesterday we were privileged to enjoy sunset celebration (coined by my aunt) on Longboat Key.



  1. What a beautiful description of your day and the museum. Between "Spring was abloom and that reflected in the flowering spaces." and the sunset celebration, I'm jealous that I'm not there!

  2. I know that if I were coming to Florida for the beach, this might be one of those "amazing places that tourists may not schedule for their visit" for me. But I did visit there years ago and your piece took me back to this special place. Thanks!


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