Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's been a while...

Staying with the 'rents in Florida has given me a much needed chance to get some work done, not only for people who donated to my travels, but also for Argyle Fine Art back  home in Halifax. Sometimes I need a break from my computer though so I decided to head to Sarasota to visit the Ringling Estates. Diane, in Gibsonton, told me about the Circus Museum there and I absolutely needed to go. It's not that I'm even a big fan of the circus. I haven't been since I was a small child. I actually have a thing for old circus poster art and the underground culture of the circus life.

Hitting the road again, even for a short trip, immediately makes me happy. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy here as well but there is just something about driving that puts me at ease right away. I already know I like driving but it wasn't until this trip I realized being behind the wheel of my van is one of my happy places. The roads look a bit different when you’re not on the move all the time. The glowing arches of a McDonald's is now just a sign for fast food, no longer symbolizing a place where I can connect my laptop to the rest of the world. Walmart parking lots are back to being a place where people park to shop and not a potential free sleeping destination. Things seem different when you have a home base.

I spent five hours at the Ringling Estates but didn’t manage to see it all. The estate includes their winter house, an art museum, circus museum, and a library amongst other small buildings. Because John Ringling's wife, Mabel, was keen on art they collected many pieces from Renaissance and Baroque painters as well at statues and sculptures from Europe. He wanted to learn as much as he could about the arts and ended up with an art library more complete than anywhere else. I have plans to go back and spend the whole day there soon since I didn’t manage to visit it this time around.
My favorite part of the circus museum, besides the original poster lithographs, was the miniature circus replica made over a period of 50 years. I’m a sucker for a good miniature scene.
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posters1 posters2
woodwork side show paintings
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I am currently adding up all my expenses for the last three months on the road. My next post will give you a sense of what it might cost if you are thinking about doing something like this. Stay tuned....

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