Category Archives: Intern Blog

The Ringling Art Library Summer Internship Experience

Hello everyone!  This is Sarah Burris, The Ringling Art Library summer intern.   I recently received my Master of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in Museum Studies from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio).  I also have my Master of Fine Arts from the same university.  Having grown up in Florida, I have enjoyed being back in the sunshine especially in such beautiful surroundings!  My internship has consisted of a variety of fun projects: interlibrary loan, reference, collection development, digitization of rare John Ringling library portfolios, and planning ROAR! pre-story time activities.

Here are images of me leading the ROAR! group (click on image):


I have really enjoyed digitizing the John Ringling rare portfolios.  I made several interesting discoveries. Both portfolios are available to view. While researching Peinture decorative : Panneaux executés dans les ateliers de Arthur Martin et reproduits par la photographie, the biggest challenge was finding Arthur Martin.  Arthur Martin (1801–1856) is attached to the cataloging information; however the portfolio was published 26 years after his death.  The two Arthur Martins were coincidentally both 19th century French artists.  Arthur Martin (1801-1856) was a Jesuit priest whose designs were medieval in stylization and largely religious.  The whimsical Neo-Louis XIV illustrations simply did not match up.  I finally located that the Arthur Martin Studio was based in Paris, France and in operation from 1860 to 1914 (Sue Kerry’s Neo-Classicism to Pop).  These illustrations would have been used to create decorative wall panel illustrations.

By happenstance, while researching Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur I discovered that a bracelet painted by Paul Victor Grandhomme matched an illustration within the portfolio.  The portfolio includes an illustrated plate of Diana the huntress, visible on previous post.  Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris, France) houses Bracelet Diane (1883) in their permanent collection.  The four sequential images at the bottom of the portfolio illustration correlate to the painted enamel of Bracelet Diane.

Click on image:
Diana the huntress

The 10-week summer internship at The Ringling Art Library has been a truly rewarding experience working with great mentors, building new skill sets, learning how The Ringling operates as a whole, and developing friendships.  I am very sad that this is the last week!


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The John Ringling Library : Rare Paul Grandhomme Portfolio

Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur.

Published:  Paris: A. Calavas, 1884
Contains 12 illustrated plates
Bequest of John Ringling, 1936

Diana The Huntress
View or download below:
Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur

Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur is part of the John Ringling library collection at The Ringling Art Library, and the second oversized portfolio from the collection to be digitized.  According to WorldCat, The Ringling Art Library has the only cataloged copy. Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur has recently had conservation work to the plates and portfolios.  The portfolio contains 12 illustrations applicable to enamel, stained glass, and ceramic arts by Paul Victor Grandhomme.  Paul Grandhomme (1851 – 1944) is most widely recognized for his skill as a French enamel painter in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Among his talents include Grandhomme’s tender depiction of mythological subjects and portraiture (Chishom, 367).

Enamel has a similar composition as glass when fused to metal, such as copper, through a heating process at high temperatures.  Enamel returned to fashion in the latter half of the 19th century pulling from medieval and Renaissance enamel processes (The New International Encyclopædia, 716).  In correlation to enamel returning to fashion, Renaissance Revival decorative arts also returned to fashion in Paris post-1840 (Campell, 265).  Grandhomme worked primarily in the Limoges School Revival manner following the Limoges painterly stylization of enamel portraiture originating in the Renaissance (Speel, 69).

Pierre Calmettes, artist/writer, provides a compelling description of Paul Grandhomme’s creative process within his 1903 article “La Pognée:  a new artistic society in Paris.” Grandhomme’s small Parisian flat was his workshop where he utilized the dining room area as his primary work space and the kitchen furnaces for baking the enamel.

“Preparing his pieces by means of drawings and sculpture, M. Grandhomme, in executing, employs a process which is all his own, his semi-transparent enamels giving a solidity of modeling to the flesh of his figures which cannot be obtained by the old methods of using translucent enamels (Calmettes, 538).”

Paul Grandhomme collaborated with several notable metalsmiths and enamellers including Alphonse Fouquet, Lucien Falize, Alfred Garnier, Jules Brateau, and Gustave Moreau.  Examples of completed collaborations are housed in institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), and Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris).

If you would like to explore additional images of completed work by Paul Grandhomme:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Musée des Arts Décoratifs


Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur.  Paris:  A. Calavas, 1884.

Calmettes, Pierre.  “La Pognée:  a new artistic society in Paris.” The Architectural Record:  A Monthly Magazine of Architecture and the Allied Arts and Crafts.  Vol. 13.  New York:  The Architectural Record Co., 1903.

Campbell, Gordon ed.  The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Vol 2, p. 265 New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2006.

Chishom, Hugh.  The Encyclopædia Britannica:  A dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. Vol 9: Edwardes to Evangelical Association, p. 367. New York:  The Encyclopædia Britannica Company, 1910.

Fisher, Alexander.  “Portraits in Enamel.” The International Studio:  An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art.  Vol 37. New York: New York Offices of the International Studio, 1909.

Speel, Erika.  Dictionary of Enamelling:  History and Techniques.  Brookfield, Vt. : Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1998.

Digitization of Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur and correlating research has been completed by Ringling Art Library summer intern, Sarah Burris.

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The John Ringling Library: Rare Arthur Martin Portfolio

Peinture decorative : Panneaux executés dans les ateliers de Arthur Martin et reproduits par la photographie

Published: Paris: Ducher & Cie. 1882.
Contains 12 illustrated plates
Bequest of John Ringling, 1936


View or download below:
Peinture decorative : Panneaux executés dans les ateliers de Arthur Martin et reproduits par la photographie

Peinture decorative : Panneaux executés dans les ateliers de Arthur Martin et reproduits par la photographie is part of the John Ringling library collection at The Ringling Art Library. After his death, the portfolio was found in John Ringling’s walk-in closet on top of a bookshelf stacked with other oversized portfolios located in his personal office in Ca’d’Zan.

Sarah Burris, museum library intern for summer 2013, has begun digitizing portfolios from the John Ringling library collection. She chose to digitize Peinture decorative : panneaux executés dans les ateliers de Arthur Martin et reproduits par la photographie in part because that there are only three copies cataloged through Worldcat– The Ringling Museum of Art Library (Sarasota, FL US), Sächsische Landesbibliothek (Dresden, Germany), National Art Library Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK). Digitization not only preserves the illustrated pages from future wear and tear, but it also allows for increased public accessibility. The book is now in the public domain having been published in 1882 and the copyright has not been renewed. The main reason she chose Peinture decorative for digitization is because the whimsical imagery from Arthur Martin’s Studio is simply too delightful not to be shared.

Peinture decorative contains twelve reproduced photographic plates of decorative mural illustrations on Bristol board. The panels were designed by the Arthur Martin Studio based in Paris, France, which was in operation from 1860 to 1914 (Kerry, 170). The Arthur Martin Studio produced Neo-Classical, also known as Neo-Louis XVI or French Third Republic, designs for decorative textiles, wallpapers, and paintings. Arthur Martin designs were popular in the late 19th century, especially patterns for woven silks produced by several large textile manufacturing companies including Maison Grand Frères and Mathevon et Vouvard (Kerry, 170). Examples of the woven designs are housed in renowned textile collections such as the Musée des Tissues (Lyon, France), Cummersdale Design Collection, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

This portfolio features six figures each representing the arts, the four seasons, and two decorative paintings for the top of a piano. The six allegorical female figures depict dance, music, painting, sculpture, lyric poetry, and astronomy. Putti iconography, vases with flowers, ornaments and architectural motifs often reoccur within the Arthur Martin designs (Bouzard, 63). The decorative paintings for the piano were commissioned by Monsieur Henri-August Fordinois (1830-1907), a Neo-Louis XVI furniture maker.

If you would like to explore additional images of work designed by the Arthur Martin Studio:

The Art Institute of Chicago
Lelievre Paris Fabric Collection
Cummersdale Design Collection Brochure


Bouzard, Marie. La Soierie Lyonnaise du XVIIIe au XXe siècle dans les collections du musée des Tissues de Lyon. Lyon: Ed. Lyonnaises d’art et d’histoire : Société des Amis des musées de la Chambre de commerce, 1997.

Cercle de la librairie. Bibliographie de la France – Journal Général de l’imprimerie et de la librarie. Paris, France: Cercle de la librairie, 1881.

Kerry, Sue. Neo-Classicism to Pop: Part I – Late 18th & 19th Century Textiles. Easthampton, MA: Francesca Galloway, 2007.

Martin, A. Peinture décorative : Panneaux executés dans les ateliers de Arthur Martin et reproduits par la photographie. Paris: Ducher & Cie, 1882.

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The Merci Collection

Item found inside Merci Collection Book

Tucked away inside the pages of “Eglises Parisiennes: Actuelles et Disparues” was found a small French flag. The flag seems to be sewn out of strips of ribbon. It is a bit frayed and has some staining, but it is over sixty years old and made it all the way from France to Sarasota, FL. Inside the book there is an inscription from a Miss Gerard from Bois-Colombes, an area just outside of Paris. She writes in English, “If this book enables you to love our old country more than you did before I should be very satisfied and grateful to you.” It isn’t clear if Miss Gerard placed the flag in the book or if the flag made its way inside the Merci Train boxcar by some other means. Either way, it is a reminder of the friendship between France and the United States.

French flag found inside “Eglises Parisiennes: Actuelles et Disparues.”

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The Merci Collection

The Books: Part II

Cities and Provinces


Many of the books in the Merci Collection are guidebooks pertaining to specific cities or provinces of France. They contain historical information about the areas and most are either illustrated or contain photographic images.


Paris (1948) by André George

“Paris” is part of a collection of books, called “Les Beaux Pays,” that covers French provinces, colonies, and foreign countries. The book has a color illustration on the cover and contains 214 heliogravure images inside. The book discusses various monuments and sections of Paris such as the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Latin Quarter.

Example of heliogravure from “Paris”

 Heliogravure is a photographic etching process, now known as photogravure, in which a photographic image is etched onto a copper plate. A photo positive is placed on a copper plate that has a layer of light-sensitive chemicals on top. The plate and positive are then exposed to light, which etches the photographic image on to the copper plate. The plate is inked, then pressed on to a piece of paper to create an image with high tonal value. Though the use of photogravures in books was popular in the first half of the 20th century, the photogravure process is now mostly used in art photography. Many books in the Merci Collection have heliogravures.

Camargue, Mon Tendre Amour! (1946) by Albert Ganeval

Camargue is a region in France in the river delta of the Rhône River and with a border on the Mediterranean Sea. The book is a mix of fiction and reality based on the author’s, Albert Ganeval, experiences and memories. There are also seventy illustrations by J. Oberthur and a preface written in the provincial language of Camargue by Marius Conte-Devolx.

Bordeaux dans la Nation Française (1939) published by Editions Delmas

Bordeaux is a city in the southwest of France and sits on the Garonne River. The book is a compilation of chapters written by different authors. Authors include the mayor, the chief architect, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux. The Ringling Museum Library’s copy is numbered as number 104 out of 200 copies printed on vellum. Maps depicting the city from the 1st century AD to the 18th century are included along with images of the city’s various monuments and people.

Map of Bordeaux in the 18th century. Bordeaux dans la Nation Francaise.

Rue de la Republique. From “Orléans: Meurtrie et Libérée.”

Orléans: Meurtrie et Libérée (1945)

  This book chronicles Orléans, a city south of Paris on the Loire River, during the years of WWII from 1940-1944. A timeline of events is given including the German invasion and occupation, the battle for the access to the Loire River, and the eventual liberation of Orléans. The majority of the book, however, is images. The story of Orléans during WWII is told through pictures of bombed buildings, soldiers, and the daily lives of the people who lived in Orléans.


Le Chablais a Travers les Siècles (1931) by L.E. Piccard

The title of this book translates to “Chablais through the centuries” and notes the history of this former province of Savoy from prehistory to modern times. Chablais sits in between Switzerland and France, near Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman in French. Various cities of the region are discussed such as Evian, Thonon, and Yvoire. Photogravures of architecture, ports, and landscapes are included.

Page from “Sites et Monuments: La Lorraine (La Moselle)”

Sites et Monuments: La Lorraine (La Moselle) (1937) published by Touring-Club de France

This book was produced by the Touring-Club de France, which promoted tourism throughout France. Lorraine is a region in the northeast corner of France and borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. La Moselle is one of the departments that make up the Lorraine region. The text was written by Baron de la Chaise who talks about Lorraine’s major city, Metz, the industry of the region, and the forest and mountain areas.





Nimes, Uzès, Aigue- Mortes (1929) by André Chagny

This book is the only translated book in the Merci Collection. It is part of a series called “Visions of France” and completes the special volume of the series on Avignon. Nimes is in the south of France and was once part of the Roman Empire. Many of the photographic images in the book are of Nimes’ Roman structures. G.L. Arlaud illustrated the book with 60 heliogravures. Also included are the cities Uzès and Aigues-Mortes, which are in the same region as Nimes.

Angoulême (1934) by L. Burias and J.A. Catala

Angoulême is a small city in southwestern France. The book is signed with an inscription from one of the authors, J.A. Catala. Catala also took photographs for the book, which are reproduced using the photogravure process. In between all the black and white photographic images are two color plates; one is a painting of St. Pierre Cathedral and the other is an image of a manuscript page from 1572. There is even a fold out map included at the back of the book which shows the major sites of Angoulême and the expansion of the city from the 3rd century AD to the 17th century.

Page with inscription from J.A. Catala in “Angoulême.”


Some of the books from the Merci Train do not necessarily fit in to the Ringling Museum Library’s collection. For example, a few of the books are about agriculture in France.

Les Champignons (1948) by Roger Heim

Les champignons means mushrooms in English and the book “Les Champignons” discusses several types of mushrooms. The descriptions tell where the mushrooms grow, their characteristics, and whether they are edible or not. Many photos and figures are given to show the different species of mushrooms. There are also watercolors of mushrooms by Yvonne Jean-Haffen. The book was donated to the Merci Train by the Institut National Agronomique (National Agronomic Institute). It contains an inscription inside from the chairman of the institute’s students.

Les Beaux Fruits de France (1947) by Georges Delbard

This book is about the fruit grown in France. Different horticulture techniques are described such as grafting (taking a piece of one plant and grafting it onto another), commercial farming, and packaging and preserving fruits. There is even a section about how to avoid and eliminate parasites when growing fruit. There are over 200 black and white images and 32 plates of color photographs. This book, like “Les Champignons,” also came from the Institut National Agronomique and is inscribed by the president of the teacher’s corps. On the dedication page the author describes how “Les Beaux Fruits de France” began in 1943, during the German occupation of France. There were difficulties in finding materials and putting together the book, but it was able to be done thanks to the efforts of several people.








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The Merci Collection

The Books

In the Ringling Museum Library’s accession book, twenty eight books were recorded in 1949 as being a gift from the Merci Train. Over the years, books from the collection have been withdrawn, discarded, or gone missing. What remains are seventeen books that make up the Merci Collection. The books have a wide range of subjects from Paris to mushrooms, and from the military to images of the Virgin Mary. Many are inscribed by the people who donated them and include book plates that label the books as being from the Merci Train.

Art, Architecture, and Literature 

La Foire de Sorochinietz (1945) by Nicolas Gogol

La Foire de Sorochinietz was originally written in Russian about a fair that comes to a small, peasant town in Russia. The Ringling Museum Library’s copy is translated into French by Jarl-Priel and illustrated with original etchings by Vera Morosoff. Only 275 copies of this book were made. Inside is an inscription from the illustrator; it reads “En souvenir des années 1944-1945 A avec toute ma gratitude Véra le 16 XII 1948,” or in English, “In remembrance of the years 1944-1945 with all of my thanks Véra 16th of December 1948.”

In an interesting turn of events, Vera Morosoff ended up living not far from the Ringling Museum Library. In 1917, Vera and her husband, also an artist, left their homeland of Russia for Italy. They soon left Italy for Paris and lived there during WWII. In 1951, the couple moved to New York City by way of Chicago, but after 20 years in Manhattan, Vera and her husband moved to St. Petersburg, FL. A book that Vera had signed and donated to the Merci Train in 1949, not knowing where it would end up, found its way to Sarasota, only a short distance from the place she would come to over twenty years later.

La Foire de Sorochinietz, Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol.
Translated by Jarl-Priel.
Illustrated by Vera Morosoff.




Marie Mère de Dieu (1947) by Henri Ghéon

This book compiles images of the Virgin Mary. The images are organized into four categories: Ave Maria, Mater Amabilis, Mater Dolorosa, and Regina Coeli. The paintings are from collections all across Europe and include artists such as Michelangelo, Jan Van Eyck, and Giotto. Most images are in black and white, but a few have been reproduced in color.

La Vierge Douloureuse, El Greco.

  Eglises Parisiennes: Actuelles et Disparues (1947) by Yvan Christ

Inscription inside Eglises Parisiennes

Eglises Parisiennes is about the churches of Paris and is inscribed in English by the person who donated the book. The book has many images, architectural drawings, sketches, and other images of and about the churches.




La Publicité Française (1947) edited by La Fédération Française de la Publicité


La Publicité Française is a book of ads and illustrations by various artists. There are hundreds of images; Most are in black and white, but many are in color. The products advertised range from perfume and makeup to Perrier and tomato juice. For every image the artist is cited and for others a short description about where the ad appeared is included.

Les Jardins de Versailles (1924) by Pierre Nolhac

Les Jardins de Versailles (The Gardens of Versailles) chronicles the history of Versailles’ gardens from the initial plans to final installments of fountains and sculptures. The author, Pierre Nolhac, takes an art historical approach to writing about the gardens. He discusses various artists and architects and their artistic additions to the gardens. There are many black and white images of statues, fountains, and of course the gardens themselves.

Keepsake (1944) by Pierre Lestringuez

Keepsake by Pierre Lestringuez with a preface by Leon Paul Fargue. Illustrated by Robert Naly. 1944

This book of poems from Pierre Lestringuez is illustrated by Roebrt Naly. There are 25 lithographs, the majority of which are in color. Also, the book contains a preface written by the French poet, Leon Paul Fargue. 195 copies of the book were made of the first edition, but they were broken up into three categories and printed on different types of paper. The first fifty were printed on vellum from Auvergne, a province in the center of France, the next forty-five were printed on vellum from Rives, and the last one hundred copies were printed on vellum from Papeteries de Lana, a paper making company in Strasbourg, France. The copy at the Ringling Museum Library is number 117, which means it is printed on the vellum from Papeteries de Lana. There are 24 poems and every one is illustrated.

“Prevoir” from Keepsake by Paul Lestringuez


Exposition de l’Histoire de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte au Bénéfice du Pavillon des Lépreux des Oeuvres Hopitalières Françaises de L’Ordre de Malte (1929) by Comte Michel de Pierredon

L’Ordre Souverain de Malte is a medical association with a very long history. It began around 1048 at the Hospital of St. Jean in Jerusalem with individuals who cared for the sick and poor. Eventually the group became a charitable organization and throughout its nearly thousand year history L’Ordre Souverain de Malte built hospitals, universities, and libraries in Rhodes, Malta, and France. It also helped treat over 800,000 wounded individuals during World War I. In 1927 the Ordre de Malte France (the French extension of the association) was created. In 1928, the organization began to fund the building of a new section of the St Louis Hospital in Paris. The section would be used to help treat people suffering from leprosy who had come from French colonies. This book, “L’Exposition de l’Histoire de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte,” is a catalog of an exhibition held at the National Library of France. The exhibition was developed to raise money for the hospital’s leprosy wing. Inside, the book describes how donators would have their name inscribed at the head of a bed in the hospital. The exhibition included paintings, prints, and objects from the Louvre, the National Library of France, the Versailles Museum and others.

Title page of “Exposition de l’Histoire de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte”


Corot (1942) by Germain Bazin

This book has one of the book plates with the logo of the Merci Train. The inscription inside “Vous qui allez vivre, soyez dignes de nous qui allons mourir.. (un Francais de dix-sept ans)” roughly  translates to “You who are living, be worthy of us who are going to die.. (a Frenchman of 17 years),” but the message that is lost in translation means “Honor the dead by living.” The book discusses the French artist, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot. Corot mostly painted landscapes, but also painted figures and worked with engravings. Many examples of Corot’s work are included with several reproduced in color.

Example of the bookplates from the Merci Train

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The Merci Collection

The History of the “Merci Train”

On February 3, 1949, an outdated, World War I-era boxcar arrived in New York City to enormous crowds and great fanfare. The boxcar was paraded through the city streets with tickertape raining down. So what made this boxcar so special? It was part of La Train de la Reconnaissance, or the Merci Train as it was affectionately called in the United States, from the people of France to America in recognition of America’s efforts to send food and supplies to France after World War II.

The Merci Train’s story really begins in the dead of winter in 1947. The war was over, but France was struggling to rebuild with limited resources. To aid France, Americans gathered millions of dollars worth of food and supplies to send to France, where items were distributed across the country using a train, named the “Friendship Train.” For America’s help in the war and providing aid afterward, France wanted to show its gratitude. The idea for a French version of the Friendship Train began in 1948, supposedly as an idea from a French railroad employee. At the time, the French people had nothing more to give than their own possessions, so that is what they gave. Forty-nine boxcars were filled with clothes, furniture, hand sewn patches, books, artwork, jewelry, and more, all donated by individual French people. The boxcars were part of trains used to transport American soldiers during WWI across France and were known as “40 and 8” because of the amount of people (40) or horses (8) the boxcars could hold. The boxcars were sent across the Atlantic on the freighter “Magellan” which had been painted to say “Merci America” on the sides of the ship.

The Magellan docked at Pier H in Weehawken, New Jersey, and from there all forty-nine boxcars of the Merci Train were unloaded. A boxcar was sent to each state with Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii sharing the 49th. The boxcars were decorated with the crests France’s provinces and followed a similar travel route as the Friendship Train of 1947. Boxcars were delivered to the state capitals and many cities organized welcome ceremonies and parades for their own portion of the Merci Train. The contents of the boxcars were distributed amongst institutions such as libraries, schools, and museums.

Merci Train Boxcar

French “Merci” Train. Special Events Records, Administration, RG 4-1-9, Georgia Archives

Florida’s Merci Train Boxcar and the Ringling Museum Library

On February 11th, 1949, Florida’s boxcar from the Merci Train came to Tallahassee. The boxcar was taken to the Capitol and the items inside were later displayed at the Cherokee Hotel. Items on display included a wedding dress, dolls, handmade handkerchiefs, war medals, knives, paintings, and a huge statue. A monument from the small French town of Brou was included in the boxcar and is currently displayed at the Sauls-Bridges Post 13 of the American Legion in Lake Ella Park, in Tallahassee.

At the Sauls-Bridges Post 13 of the American Legion, Lake Ella (Photo by Eman M. Vovsi)

After the exhibition at the Cherokee Hotel, American Legion and Auxiliary members packed everything back into the Merci Train boxcar except for the large, bulky statue. The boxcar was then taken to Sarasota, FL, for the state Legion convention, April 8-10, 1949. On its visit here, items were displayed at the Sarasota Civic Center, which included the Municipal Auditorium, Sarasota Arts Association, and Chidsey Library. Also part of the Civic Center was the Ft. San Juan Ortiz which displayed “war relics and other items of historical interest.” Once the state Legion convention was over, the Merci Train boxcar was given to the Ft. San Juan Ortiz and many items within the boxcar were donated to the Ringling Museum. Though documentation about what items came to the museum is not available, the books from the Merci Train boxcar were recorded in the library’s accession book as a gift from the Merci Train.

The Merci Train boxcar stayed in Sarasota until 1982, but was largely uncared for. In November of 1982, the 40 and 8, short for “La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux” an offshoot of the American Legion, took possession of the boxcar and started a fund and club to restore it. The boxcar was transferred to Holly Hill, FL, near Jacksonville, where it sits today in the Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Merci Train Boxcar, Holly Hill, FL. Retrieved from


Bennett, Earl R. Sr. (2007). Merci Train. Retrieved from

Bennett, Earl R. Sr. (2011).  Merci Train-Florida. Retrieved from

City rates share of ‘Merci’ train. (1949, February 10). St Petersburg Times, p. 8.

Civic center is valuable asset to city. (1949, August 28). Sarasota Herald Tribune, pp. 1, 2.

Conley, Manuel A. LCol. (January 1983). What ever happened to those forty and eights? The Retired Officer, 34-38.

French display opens to public. (1949, February 14). Daily Democrat, p. 1.

French gift train now en route to US. (1949, January 6). Daily Democrat, p. 1.

French Statue in state capitol. (1949, February 27). Daily Democrat, p. 1.

Gratitude car being repacked. (1949, February 21). Daily Democrat, p. 1.

Gratitude train due here today. (1949, February 2). New York Times, p. 13.

Gratitude Train off for South today. (1949, February 5). New York Times, p. 5.

Merci car set for display. (1949, March 27). St Petersburg Times, p. 53.

“Merci” train on way. (1949, February 7). Lawrence Journal-World, p. 1.

Ryan, Joseph A. (1949, February 3). French gift train receives warm welcome on arrival. New York Times, pp. 1, 7.

Seigel, Kalman. (1949, February 4). City roars thanks to France for car of Gratitude Train. New York Times, pp. 1, 3.

Shepherd, Dorothy G. (February 1950). A late sixteenth-century Flemish tapestry. The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 37(2), 24-26.

Stallings, Jean. (1983, January 17). In WWI, getting ‘over there’ wasn’t much fun. St Petersburg Times, pp. 1, 4.

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