Choose from a variety of free print and audio guides for your visit. In 1841 Barnum acquired the building and natural history collection of Scudder's American Museum for less than half of its appraised value with the financial support of Francis Olmsted, by quickly purchasing it the day after the soon to be buyers, the Peale Museum Company, failed to make their payment. Plan ahead to make the most of your visit. Tips for Visiting The Ringling Museum of Art, How to Have the Perfect Long Weekend in Sarasota, Snorkeling at Point of Rocks on Siesta Key, Sarasota Outdoor Activities For Kids and Adults, Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. Restaurants near Museum of the Early American Circus: Things to do near Museum of the Early American Circus. Snap photos with a ferocious (faux) tiger. You can learn all about how the circus evolved in early America, right here in Somers New York.
  • If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The Ringling offers a variety of services to ensure the accessibility of the Museum and its collection to all visitors. Visitors to the museum will find performers’ wardrobes, performing props, as well as all types of equipment, including beautifully carved parade wagons, sturdy utility wagons, tent poles, massive bail rings that suspended the tent canvas and even a cannon that shot fearless performers across the big top. The Museum’s collection includes more than 28,000 works that represent Western and non-Western art from ancient periods, the European Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, and American art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Tibbals fell in love with the circus as a boy and devoted his life to creating the miniature circus and lending his family name to the Learning Center. COVID-19 UPDATES: Masks are required inside the Circus Museum and all Ringling venues. Open Daily, 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM Thirty-minute docent-led tours of the Circus Museum are offered daily at Noon and 1 p.m. Special family activities are offered on Saturdays. The folks who work in the town offices were friendly, informative, and even gave us a little tour of the place. No crowds here, just an interesting piece of history to visit! American Circus Exhibits and Memorabilia. There is also an incredible wealth of 19th and early 20th century posters and props used by famous performers as well as a large collection of circus history and literature that includes newspaper clippings dating as far back as 1816. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Unique Museum about Early American Circus, What a little gem this museum is, on the third floor of the Elephant Hotel (now the town offices, not a hotel!). As a result, the idea of a Museum celebrating the history of the American Circus was not Ringling’s but A. Everett “Chick” Austin Jr.’s, The Ringlings’ first Director and a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Worthy of the man called the “King of the Circus”, the Wisconsin is the railroad car on which John and Mable Ringling traveled across the country looking for feature acts that would keep audiences filling the seats of the big top. A must-see in the Museum is the film The Life and Times of John and Mable Ringling, narrated by Hal Holbrook. The Tibbals Learning Center also houses The Greatest Show on Earth, a 924-square-foot mural depicting the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® show of the 1970s and 80s. Bolger Playspace, Bayfront Gardens, and the grounds are always FREE on Mondays, any other time grounds admission is $5.00. Besides some very interesting and fun information about how the circus travelled from town to town, this is just a beautiful old building to visit. There is also an incredible wealth of 19th and early 20th century posters and props used by famous performers as well as a large collection of circus history and literature that includes newspaper clippings dating as far back as 1816. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. It’s no wonder, Sarasota has been known as the “Circus Capital of the World” since the 1920’s when John Ringling made it the winter quarters of his famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. All visitors must enter through the Visitor’s Pavilion. Unique Gem of a Museum in old Elephant Hotel building This obscure museum, dedicated to artifacts and dioramas of the early days of the circus in America, is only open on Thursday afternoons and some … Find hours and ticketing info for the Museum of Art, Circus Museum and Ca’d’Zan. Here you’ll find helpful hints, photography and sketching policies and more. Enjoy these related objects from across the Smithsonian and learn about American Clowns: Performance, History, and Cliché. The playspace is located near the Banyan Cafe and the Circus Museum.