History – Marie Selby Garden was the effort of Marie and William Selby over 40 years ago to preserve this Sarasota green space as an oasis. The Ohio residents often visited the area, and eventually purchased the property on the Sarasota Bay and Hudson Bayou.
Besides the property in Sarasota, Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, Florida, can also be visited. This is a 30 acre museum of gardens with a waterfall displaying native Florida plants.
On today’s visit there was a unique exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith. Works from both artists were displayed among the greens, and flowers. What a creative and beautiful concept, let’s take a peek, and you can decide.
Patti Smith, recently wrote a book on her life with Mapplethorpe, Just Kids. While I have yet to read the book visitors at the garden stated it was a remarkable work reflecting the life and times of these musicians.
Smith and Mapplethorpe met in New York City and were lovers for a period of time until Robert discovered his true identity as a homosexual man. Despite this they remained life long friends. He and his male partner both died of AIDS.
On the day of my visit Patti Smith performed for a select group of Sarasota residents, and I caught a shot of her lunching with museum administrators.
While the exhibit was phenomenal want to share the beauty of other portions of the Garden.
It has a petting zoo and you can walk among the flamingos.
And then there are the other animals.
Animal shows are held throughout the day. Check for show times prior to visit as when I visited the only show left was the reptile show. Not my forte, but if it’s yours, enjoy and they also have a reptile house.
Don’t forget to visit the butterfly house….
And grandparents note to the wise: Coupons for this venue are available on the internet.
What a beautiful piece of property and nice to see little has changed since my last visit.
The Ringling Art Museum
Mr. Ringling was an avid art collector. These priceless Rubens have collectors from round the world visiting for a glance.
Ringling’s collection was eclectic with religious, Egyptian, and Chinese samplings represented. However, what I found most fascinating was the New York City mansion pieces he had purchased and installed in his art museum. Some samplings..
The Huntington Mansion from 1900’s, raised in 1926. Huntington was a railroad magnate, and a collector of art, rare books, and had substantial real estate holdings. His former home now rests on the site of the New York City Tiffany Store.
The John Jacob Astor Mansion. Astor was a businessman, real estate developer, and writer. He died in the sinking of the Titanic.
What a special place. Plan on 3 hours for your visit. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the grounds. A community theater with plays and ballet productions are adjacent to the Ringling Complex. There is much happening in Sarasota culturally.