Category Archives: Friends of the Library

July 24th 2013: Friends of the Library FREE event

dodosanddarklanternsThe Friends of The Ringling Art Library present a FREE lecture on a brand new book chronicling the history of the first public museum in Great Britain, The Ashmolean. David Berry will discuss his new book, Dodos and Dark Lanterns, how the book came together, and why this history is so important to museum’s today. This lecture is on July 24th from 10:30-12:00pm at The Ringling Education Center, Classroom 1003 & requires no museum admission.
David did his doctorate on the history of collections at the University of Oxford.  He has worked as a curator at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, where he was responsible for the founding collection and historic archive.  For the last two years, he has been preparing a new history of the Ashmolean, which tells the story of the first public museum through objects from its collections, past and present. He is currently The Ringling’s Assistant Director of Research, Education & Publications.

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The Friends of the Ringling Museum Library present…

The Spirit of the 1913 Armory Show and the Marking of Artistic Modernism in America


On April 17, 2013 at 10am, our guest lecturer Baila Miller will discuss the now famous 1913 Armory Show, the first large exhibition of Modern Art in the United States. It became a milestone of unprecedented scope. For the first time, Americans saw avant-garde European art. This new language in paintings and sculpture included examples of Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism. New Yorkers were more shocked than delighted!

Please become a Friend of the Library at our event! We will have forms available and with your sponsorship, we’ll be able to continue collecting scholarly literature that will support The Ringling!

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The Restoration of a Volume of the Library of Mrs. Bertha Palmer


Funded by the

Bertha Honore Palmer Chapter #1355 of Questors International


Books belonging to Mrs. (Bertha Honore) Potter Palmer were given to the Ringling Museum Library in 1970. There are almost one hundred titles ranging in subjects from architecture to interior design to gardening to furniture, potter, and glass. Some of the titles are limited editions of oversized folios.

The Library owns seven volumes of Daniel Hudson Burnham’s The Art of the World, from 1893, which documents the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago of that same year. In addition to Mrs. Palmer’s role as patron of the arts and social leader of Chicago, she acted as President of the Board of Lady Managers for the fair. Her set of Burnham’s books is a rare “artist’s facsimile Japan edition,” numbered 144 over 150 copies. Library staff  have not yet located another copy of this special edition in any library in the United States. The seven volumes of embossed (faux) leather, as well as a beautiful gold cloth, needed repair so they could be displayed. Because of their rarity, they were worked on by Marcella Estevez, Conservator, and returned to their original splendor.

These images show you the “before” poor condition of the volumes, yet also the beauty of materials which has been revealed through the restoration and preservation of the folio cover and color plates. Brown tape, cellophane tape, and other residue have been removed; the gold satin-like material has been cleaned, and decorative endpapers were repaired. The Goupil watercolor facsimiles are now in archival acid free mounts, and other general repairs completed will preserve the integrity of the folio.

Mrs. Palmer was an important figure in the establishment of Sarasota County early in the 20th Century. The preservation of her library will help secure her legacy for generations to come.

Mrs. Palmer died in 1918 in her Osprey, Florida home.


Before images:

palmer book before 1


Harmful tapes and labels all needed to be removed, and the cover and fabric cleaned.

before 2

Early poor and unsuccessful attempts to repair the volume needed to be removed.

After images:

palmer book after 1

after 2




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New Friends of the Library Program in August

A Special Invitation for Friends of the Ringling Museum Library

 “What I Did on My Summer Vacation:

Views of Ceylon from the Wall-Apelt Collection and Sri Lanka ”


With Dr. Benita Stambler, Asian Art Coordinator at the Ringling Museum

Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 10 am to 12 noon

At the Johnson-Blalock Education Center at the Museum, Classroom 1003

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, Florida



Please email

No reservations are required.

Please bring a friend who may wish to join the Friends.

 Join us for Ceylon tea.






WLH Skeen (1847-1903), Boy with Buddha circa 1870

Anuradhapura, Ceylon

8 3/16 x 7 15/16 in. (20.8 x 20.1 cm)

Promised Gift of Helga Wall-Apelt, TR2007.2823.293

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