John Ringling's vision for St. Armands Key was as a people-friendly place of broad boulevards, beautiful homes, classical statues, lush landscaping, elegant shops, restaurants, and a central park for musical performances. His travels to the Renaissance cities of Italy inspired his vision.
The classical sculptures Ringling saw there combined the realistic portrayal of individual beauty and the humanistic aspects of idealized beauty. There are 16 Ringling-era statues located on our central park and adjacent medians. They are stone or bronze, are approximately full size, and represent classical or Renaissance themes.
In 2007 the St. Armands Residents Association undertook the Save Our Statutes (SOS) project, under the leadership of resident Edward Pinto. SOS's goal was the preservation of the 16 statues John Ringling purchased in the 1920s and the addition of 21 new statues designed to enhance his legacy. Two of the new statues, "FLORA" and "SCULPTURE", are copies of Ringling era statues in the collection of the Ringling Museum. All of the new statues evoke attributes of St. Armands and Sarasota. The 21 new statues added in 2007 were selected to be consistent to the Ringling-era statues and are marble, hand carved, and represent classical themes.
On February 2, 2008 the St. Armands community celebrated SOS's completion and its re-dedication to John Ringling's vision and the countless others who created Sarasota, the cultural jewel of Florida.
Click here to download the Walking Guide to the St. Armands Circle Historic District, which includes all of the statues.
More information about just the original Ringling-era statues can be found here.
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