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European and American Art

The Ringling Museum’s European Old Master paintings are the premier collection of this material in the American Southeast. The collection reflects the taste of the circus impresario, financier, and art collector John Ringling, who assembled the majority of the collection between 1925 and 1936. Significant additions were made to this initial core by the museum’s first director, A. Everett “Chick” Austin, and through later gifts and purchases. The collection is best known for its Italian and Flemish Baroque paintings, though works of the Italian Renaissance, Dutch seventeenth-century, and Italian, English, and French eighteenth-century schools also feature prominently. The collection contains smaller holdings of European sculpture and decorative arts, as well as American paintings and sculptures.