John Ringling’s travels to the Renaissance cities of Italy inspired his vision of a people friendly place with a central park, broad boulevards, elegant shops and restaurants, beautiful homes, classical statues, pink sidewalks & lush landscaping.
The Renaissance owed its inspiration to classical Greek & Roman art – art that had beauty as a defining characteristic.
Classical sculpture combined the realistic portrayal of individual beauty & the humanistic aspects of idealized beauty. The Greeks & Romans portrayed their gods as flesh & blood humans. In 1927 John Ringling recreated this beauty on St. Armands.
The Save Our Statues (SOS) project’s goal is the preservation of the statues John Ringling purchased in the 1920s. Twenty-one new statues were added in 2007 to enhance his legacy.
Two (Flora” & “Sculpture” at #6) are copies of Ringling era statues in the collection of the Ringling Museum. The new statues evoke attributes of St. Armands & Sarasota.
The St. Armands Residents Association along with the City of Sarasota, Ringling Museum, St. Armands Circle Association, the St. Armands Business Improvement District, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, & many of the residents & businesses of St. Armands & the surrounding area undertook the Save Our Statues initiative in 2007.
Artistic guidance and installation provided by Jean Lang, Howard Garnitz, Papo Cobian, Jon Dowd, and Carl Lamparter, with in-kind services provided by Lovin Construction & Florida Power Solutions.
© 2007 Narrative and photos by Edward Pinto