Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ringling Museum


As much as I adored being at the beach and hanging out with Eric and the kids, I would be lying if I didn't say that my day at the Ringling Museum all by myself wasn't a highlight of the trip for me. Last year, it was a stolen afternoon at the Hemingway House in Key West that set my heart a'thumpin'. This year, it was this magnificent property, filled with romance, art and...wait for it...circus lore.

I know...that sounds a bit creepy, but it was magical. Really.


One of the first things I saw was this incredible and immense to-scale model of a circus in the heyday of its popularity.


The detail of the model was mind-boggling. It took one man ten years to create this masterpiece.


It was stunning, but also taught a lot about the hierarchy and organizational structure of a big circus, which basically amounted to a gigantic mobile city.


Looking at this model, it isn't hard to understand how running away with the circus attracted a lot of people with an urge to escape a more mundane and/or confining life or community.


I must have spent about half an hour walking around, reading the display and looking at the little people and animals. Each scene told a story. I was captivated. 


In fact, the entire story of the Ringling brothers and the circuses they ran is remarkable. It represents a different time, when the United States was a playground for those with great ideas and the energy and courage to see them through.

Below, you can see the railcar John Ringling and his wife rode in as they visited their circuses all over the country. They operated this railcar like their mobile home. However, since they were insanely wealthy and privileged, their railway car was like a moving mansion. I can only imagine the adventure of traveling in this way, clickey clacking your way across the continent...the world passing by your window. So cool.


Of course, riding the rails is a little tougher when the house you are leaving behind looks like this:


Spectacular. This home the Ringlings constructed on the intercoastal waterway in Sarasota was meant to be a showcase for their wealthy friends. The Ringlings wanted Sarasota to become a cultural centre and they figured the best way to promote it was to invite friends to stay and then spread the land's riches out before them.


All I can say is, well played Ringlings, well played. If were a gagillionaire and I was standing on this patio, I'd plunk down some cash to enjoy the view from my own Venetian palace.


I mean, really.


The house is pure magic. Meant to evoke the beauty of the Doge's palace in Venice, it does that and more (for me).


It is a charming mix of Old World and New. Avid collectors of art, the Ringlings were their own people, lead to what they found beautiful instead of simply following the hoardes. The result is an eclectic and charming collection.


You wouldn't find this painting on the ceiling in Venice:


I would enjoy spending my days in this room:


Especially with a view like this:


Sadly (don't all these sort of stories end badly?), the wealth and luxury wasn't permanent. If you are interested, you should read up on the Ringlings, but suffice to say that the Crash and Depression in the 20's was no better for them than it was for most Americans. Mabel Ringling died and John Ringling had a rough few years before dying in New York virtually penniless.


But the fun they had before then might have made it worthwhile...I don't know, you'd have to ask them, but it looked pretty spectacular to me.


*An interesting footnote: while money was certainly no object for the Ringlings, they did make small economies along the way. This one made me chuckle. Look at the floor in the picture below. You can see that one side is black and white marble, while the servants' side is actually asbestos tile. Why bother continuing with marble all the way back there for servants. Asbestos is good enough for them...


It was a stunning afternoon in the Ca' d'Zan.


25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since 1987, there has been documented Asbestos problems in the air and basement of the Ca d'Zan. On the first floor, between the stairs and the door into the great hall there is a bathroom not for public use. Next to that bathroom is a door with steps that go down to the basement level which only employees see. There is a large warning sign in the basement that instructs to enter only when wearing full protective gear. On the second floor office area, off limits to the public, are panels that monitor the Asbestos level in the air and warn if it rises. Second and third shift security attendants are required to do daily patrols down in the basement (without wearing protection) and to go check the alarm panel to make sure it is not sounding or otherwise in an alarm state.
About 5 or 6 years ago some ancient fuel storage tanks were removed from below the ground in front of the Ca d'Zan. They were contaminated with Asbestos, the excuse for their removal was that they were fixing and making more flat the sidewalks and pavement that lead up to the Ca d'Zan. A few years prior to storage tanks actually being removed, I was working at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on a day when an employee sent out an email to all other employees reading that he was being fired for trying to address this Asbestos problem of the tanks contaminating the ground and get it addressed. He sent this email just before being escorted off the property by security. A little time later in the day, an email was sent reading that he was not fired for this but, that his position had simply been eliminated.
During the last restoration of the mansion, the restoration team was unaware and not told of the Asbestos issue and worked without protection. When the air level of Asbestos raised, work had to be delayed and as a result of a settlement, that team can now receive free chest x-rays for as long as each member is alive because they were not warned before they started the project.

Anonymous said...

Most people don't realize that John Ringling never intended to have The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art connected to his history in the circus business. If you read his will, it is never mentioned that he wanted any circus memorabilia to become part of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He never would have expected the Florida State University to control his museum either, as he had intended to leave it to the people of the State of Florida. A man who worked at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, named Joe McKennon, self-published an 80 page book called Rape of an Estate in 1986 which recorded this, along with other issues of abuse and misuse at the museum before Florida State University took control of it in 2000. The publication also reprints John Ringling's will. It is bound in a simple way with a plain white cover with big blue text. The museum was so threatened by this small book, that they tried to get all the published copies together and still today stores them under lock and alarm in their circus museum building. There are stacks of the book in a locked circus archive room that the public is not allowed into. Only the security attendants on the 2nd and 3rd shift during patrols are allowed in that room and also a limited number of circus museum employees. The museum has tried to bury this book away because, as the word "Rape" in the title suggests, it shows the museum in a negative way on many issues. The author admits his guilt in helping to turn the art museum into a art/circus museum. By hiding away this book, it is an example of both censorship by the museum and of the museum trying to control what the public perception is of both its history and its deeds. There are a very few copies of Rape of an Estate around and it can be found online available for sale on sites like amazon.com.
Its author, Joe McKennon, was a life-long circus worker from Texas. He was born in 1916 and died in 1991 and wrote at least 6 books, all circus related. At the early age of 3 he decided to join the circus. At age 12 and then again at age 14 he ran away from home and joined circuses, but both times his parents found him and brought him back home. Finally, as a teenager after high school graduation, he joined the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus after working for the Santa Fe Railroad. He did a stint in the US Army, completed 2 years of work at the University of Texas and worked with many carnivals and circuses, even with the Ringling outfit. While he was working at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art he was also a cattle rancher on a 400 acre cattle ranch he owned in North Carolina.
In 1991, John and Mable Ringling and his sister were buried on the museum property just in front and to the right of the Ca d'Zan. It is called the secret garden and John is buried between the two women. There is a locked gate around the 3 graves and tombstones. There is a garden and statues in front of the gate. On the date of John Ringling's birthday every year, New College students will sneak there at night and place a cigar on John's grave. The lock on the gate and this secret garden is checked every day by 2nd and 3rd shift security attendants.

Anonymous said...

This museum really seems to have some problems. On Election Day back in 2012 one of its bronze sculptures was cut from its base and taken away. Security did not notice a thing and the stolen piece of art named Endogenae by A. Arlie Sinaiko has sadly never been seen again.

Anonymous said...

John Ringling owned a private railroad observation passenger car and used it from 1905 to 1917 to travel with his circus train. He named it for his home state of Wisconsin. It is now restored and is on display at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. In 1917, he bought what was said to be at the time the longest railcar made by the Pullman Company in Illinois. The private observation car reportedly cost $100,000. It measured 81 feet and 11 inches long according to its blueprint and weighed 175,400 pounds. Its blueprint is dated March 22, 1917 and is identified as LOT 4440, PLAN 3305 by Chas S. Knapp, Asst. Chief Engineer. John Ringling named his new railroad coach the Jomar. The letters jo come from John, ma from Mable and the r from Ringling. It had a cook, valet and a secretary who stayed with the railcar even when John Ringling was not on the show. It contained a living room, staterooms, a full sized bathroom, dining room, kitchen and quarters for the chef and butler. He hosted many important and famous guests on this luxurious railcar. When he was staying in Sarasota, the Jomar would be “spotted”, a railroad term for parked, on a railroad spur that extended on a pier into Sarasota Bay from Strawberry Avenue (about where Marina Jack’s Restaurant is located today.) Upon John Ringling’s death in 1936, the Jomar went to his nephew, John Ringling North, for his use on the circus circuit. The Jomar is currently being restored in Sarasota, Florida. It was purchased in 2004 by Bob Horne and Harvey Vengroff.

Anonymous said...

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Director of Security, Russell (Russ) Pillifant no longer is employed by the Florida State University system. Ringling security supervisor, Bill Pennington, walked into Mr. Pillifant's office trailer after an event at the museum and reported Mr. Pillifant drunk and passed out along with one of Mr. Pillifant's male FSU event staff members, Claude. They were surrounded by empty bottles of wine. Later, on Sunday January 31, 2010 while working the Forks and Corks event at the museum, FSU employee Robert (Bob) Reyes reported that Mr. Pillifant was directing vehicle traffic at the event with one hand, while drinking from a bottle of beer in his other hand. Mr. Reyes observed that he got the specialty brewed beer bottle from one of the vendors at the event.

Anonymous said...

Before being forced out of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida for making racist statements, there is this story online of Russell (Russ) Pillifant lieing to and entrapping a young woman.

Deputy Chief Russell (Russ) Pillifant was driving with Capt. James Fulton on North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, Florida at about 11 a.m. one morning. A brown-haired woman simply waved at them. The officers, not in uniform but wearing shirts and ties, pulled right over. The woman just asked for a ride.
"You tricking?" Mr. Pillifant leadingly asked her. "Are you guys cops or associated with any type of law enforcement agency?" she asked. "No!" Mr. Pillifant lied to her. Mr. Fulton sat next to him with a duffel bag marked "POLICE" between his legs and did not offer the truth to her. The woman offered oral sex for $20 or "something a little more" for $50. They could go to her place, she said. "We've got to be careful; there's a lot of cops around here", she told them during the encounter. Mr. Pillifant told the woman to wait a few yards from the car. He radioed for officers to arrest her and went to talk to her. It is not reported what he told her at that point after already being dishonest and lieing to her in addition to leading her to offer him sexual services for money.

DENNIS GERGEL said...

Ray Flash had this to say about my arrest for sending mail art:
The mail art that got Dennis Gergel arrested by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was pretty interesting actually. I had received one in the mail myself. What he did was this: He took names of employees like Derek Ross and Douglas Kingsley and made silly puns on them like Betsy Ross and Douglas Kinksley. He wrote those on magazine subscription cards and then added those magazine subscription cards to his collages on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and then mailed those collages out to his mail art friends. Those friends that received his collages would sometimes remove the subscription cards and send those in to the actual magazines. Dennis wrote me that when the FSU Police came to his front door the officer made a point of saying that he would have a handwriting expert prove that the handwriting on Dennis's art was his own and that he would have the state crime lab prove that Dennis's fingerprints were on Dennis's art. It all seemed so stupid. This was clearly was an art project, but they charged him with 5 counts of using other people's personal ID. I mean Betsy Ross!!!, come on? One of the problems that the John and Mable Ringling Museum/FSU was trying to not let come to light was that it had recently made an out of court settlement of a large sum of money to a female employee because security supervisor Douglas Kingsley had forced her to remain in his office against her will and kept the door closed as he verbally scolded her due to her vehicle being broken into by a construction worker on the property and he did not want her to report this. So anything with Douglas Kingsley's name involved got their attention, as they did not want the settlement sum and other details to get out to the public. Mr. Kingsley was not terminated or demoted for his actions with the female under his supervision. Another one of the things I just can't understand is that the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will often play up the number of pieces in its collection by Marcel Duchamp. He is credited with sending the first piece of mail art. So how can the same museum that holds him up so high, puts in jail another artist who follows his lead regarding mail art?

Anonymous said...

In or around 2010, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/Florida State University security attendant Henry (Hank) Vial was terminated for theft.

Mr. Vial while on duty told his coworkers that he used to be a still photographer and was once at a porn shoot and was offered to participate in it, to have sex on camera with the models. He told of a time that he and his lawyer sued someone that got into a car accident with him. In order to win the lawsuit, Mr. Vial said he faked an injury and actually went to physical treatment for it when in fact there was really nothing wrong with him at all. He said that he really did not get along well with women. He lived alone and only cared about women when he “needed a little.” He said that then he would give them what they wanted (money, gifts or dinner out) in exchange for what he wanted (sex.) He had been married 3 times and engaged 4 times.

At one time, Mr. Vial had been a motorcycle police officer and he said that his biggest regret was that he got into a fight with a man with a knife that he pulled over and he had wished he would have just killed the man. There was an assault lawsuit after the fight against Mr. Vial and the police force that he was working for that went on for years afterwards. Mr. Vial told the story of a time when as a policeman he responded to a woman who had gotten a glass Coca Cola bottle stuck in her vagina while she was masturbating with it. While he was there, other officers arrived and the bottle was removed. He said that all he wanted to tell her while he was there with her was to offer to have sex with her so she would not have to use a bottle. Mr. Vial said that it was all he could do to hold himself back from asking her if she wanted to have sex with him after the bottle was removed.

Mr. Vial upset his coworkers and made them uncomfortable with his comments about the middle school aged Sarasota Ballet of Florida female students that would come to class at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, because he would talk about their make up and how it made them look older and sexy. He would ask what their ages were. He would also make sexual comments about the female FSU students and the female cast members of the Asolo Rep Company. Of one female FSU graduate student, he said that his fantasy of her is something that no one can take away from him, not even Derek Ross (his direct supervisor and the person that hired him.)

On Wednesday February 24, 2010, Mr. Vial used the label “dyke” when speaking about female police officers that he had worked with in the past. On another occasion while also on duty he said that there were a lot of “faggots” working at the Asolo Rep Company. On both of these occasions, passersby heard him and wrote letters of protest to the Sarasota Ballet of Florida and the Asolo Rep Company. Those letters were then passed on to Mitch Ladewski, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU Coordinator of Safety and Security. Mr. Vial reported to his coworkers that Mitch Ladewski took him into his office, had the letters spread out on his desk and questioned if he had used those two words. Mr. Vial lied and said no and denied it. Mr. Vial said that Mr. Ladewski had “read him the riot act.” Mr. Vial said that Mr. Ladewski had come on hot and heavy about it because since Mr. Ladewski was a short man, he had a “Napoleon Complex.” Mr. Vial said he was “pissed” that Mr. Ladewski had brought him into his office about this. He admitted to his coworkers that “If Mitch (Ladewski) knew what he talked about, he would be fired.”

Anonymous said...

Russell (Russ) Lynn Pillifant no longer is employed by Florida State University/John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and is the Regional Investigator at Bealls, Inc.
Information about his racist/sexist comments that led to his leaving the Sarasota Florida Police can be read here:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19990406&id=G0EgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6X0EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6653,530443&hl=en
Posted by Robert Reyes on March 26, 2015

Anonymous said...

Robert (Bob) Reyes is a former employee of the John and Mable Ringling Musuem of Art/Florida State University.

While on duty at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts at the Ringling Musuem, Mr. Reyes often proudly told the story of a dead female body he once found. He was able to determine her name and she was a known prostitute. He transported her remains in his police car and found that some of it had stained his rear carpet. Instead of cleaning it, he left it alone so it would smell very bad. This way no other officer would want to ride in his vehicle. He enjoyed riding alone. He said he got used to the smell and each morning he would get in his police car and say out loud hello to her by name. When his shift was over, he would tell her out loud goodnight by name when he left his car. He said that his commander finally had to order him to clean out his car after hearing so many reports of this strange behavior and complaints of the disgusting smell of Mr. Reye's vehicle.

I hope her ghost haunted Mr. Reyes for his horrible actions and behavior. He was a truly sick person. How does the Ringling Musuem/FSU find these twisted people and why do they hire them?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Henry (Hank) Vial complained to his coworkers about having to work with Glenda Fellows. He said that he thought she was going to come in with a gun one day and start shooting. He said, of all the people there, she was the one that probably had and carried a gun. He said that they got into arguments because he would order her what to do and that he would raise his voice at her when telling her what to do.

This was raised in a FSU hearing at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on Friday June 18, 2010 and instead of taking it seriously, Ringling Museum Director of Security-Russell (Russ) Lynn Pillifant interrupted the proceding by laughing out loud at the testimony.

Later in the same hearing, Mr. Pillifant made a point and testified that he was concerned about the safety of the employees at the museum. How concerned was he really, if he just laughed off things like this without investigating them?

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday 1/20/10, while on duty working at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Henry (Hank) Vial said “She looks really good in a short skirt” after female FSU student Katie Cunningham walked by. Then the next day, Thursday 1/21/10, he told one of his coworkers “Imagine her legs wrapped tight around you” after she walked by him again. On one occasion he asked his coworker to describe exactly what she was wearing. He said that his fantasy of Katie Cunningham is something that no one can take away from him, not even Derek Ross (his direct security supervisor.) He said several times that when she wore a black skirt and black high heels he really found her very sexy, but that she was not particularly beautiful in the face.

On one occasion, FSU student Devereau Chumrau was walking away from him and Robert (Bob) Reyes and Mr. Vial asked Mr. Reyes if she was auditioning for Hair as she had “the perfect body for it.” Mr. Vial added “that play was done in the nude you know?”

Both these female FSU students were also working with the Asolo Rep at the time too. It is hard to believe these men were security attendants who were being paid and trusted to protect these FSU students. Is this the way state employees should act and talk?
By the way this information was reported to FSU on Friday 6/18/10 and no action was taken against Henry (Hank) Vial for these comments.

Anonymous said...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Anonymous said...

Are the police allowed to lie to you during a criminal investigation and if they do, will a judge toss out any evidence they obtain as a result? The short answer is this, the police in almost all circumstances are allowed to say whatever they want to get you to incriminate yourself.

The follwoing story online illustrates this:
Sarasota Florida Police Deputy Chief Russell (Russ) Lynn Pillifant was driving with Captain James Fulton on North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, Florida at about 11 a.m. one morning. A brown-haired woman simply waved at them. The officers, not in uniform but wearing shirts and ties, pulled right over. The woman just asked for a ride.
"You tricking?" Mr. Pillifant leadingly asked her. "Are you guys cops or associated with any type of law enforcement agency?" she asked. "No!" Mr. Pillifant lied to her. Mr. Fulton sat next to him with a duffel bag marked "POLICE" between his legs and did not offer the truth to her. The woman offered oral sex for $20 or "something a little more" for $50. They could go to her place, she said. "We've got to be careful; there's a lot of cops around here", she told them during the encounter. Mr. Pillifant told the woman to wait a few yards from the car. He radioed for other officers to come and arrest her and then went to talk to her. It is not reported what he told her at that point after already being dishonest and lieing to her.

Anonymous said...

I worked for The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/Florida State University for around 7 years. I worked at some point on every shift and in every building there on the museum grounds. I was a security attendant. They do not require their security personnel to be State of Florida licensed "D" security guards, therefore they are called security attendants and can not really be called security guards. I am sure the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU does this to keep the salary costs as low as possible, but the trade off is that you are getting workers without proper security training and knowledge to guard millions of dollars of unique property. This leads to things like what happened on Election Day back in 2012 when one of its bronze sculptures was cut from its base and taken away. Security did not notice a thing and the stolen piece of art named Endogenae by A. Arlie Sinaiko has sadly never been seen again.

Anonymous said...

Robert (Bob) Reyes is a former employee of the John and Mable Ringling Musuem of Art/Florida State University.

While on duty at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts at the Ringling Musuem, Mr. Reyes often proudly told the story of a dead female body he once found while working for the Sarasota Florida Police. He was able to determine her name and she was a known prostitute. He transported her remains in his police car and found that some of it had stained his rear carpet. Instead of cleaning it, he left it alone so it would smell very bad. This way no other officer would want to ride in his vehicle. He enjoyed riding alone. He said he got used to the smell and each morning he would get in his police car and say out loud hello to her by name. When his shift was over, he would tell her out loud goodnight by name when he left his car. He said that his commander finally had to order him to clean out his car after hearing so many reports of this strange behavior and complaints of the disgusting smell of Mr. Reye's vehicle.

I had to work with Mr. Reyes in 2009 at the Ringling Museum and he would go behind me and highlight, change and otherwise alter my official FSU security log paperwork. He had to be told by security supervision to stop this, as he was not a supervisor of anybody. On Thursday 1/22/09he complained to me that my handwriting was "too big" and that I sometimes used more then 1 line which he didn't like.

Mr. Reyes acted like he knew more then everyone else and thought he was above everyone else because he was a former NYPD police officer. He loved to use profanity alot and would constantly talk of hating and the President. Needless to say, I did not think very highly of him nor could I respect his morals.

Anonymous said...

Back in the mid-2000’s I donated a few original K-Line Electric Train pieces of artwork of its officially licensed Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus model trains to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU. I thought they would appreciate this because of their circus museum and for the fact that in their gift shop they actually sold K-Line by Lionel Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey officially licensed model circus trains. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU never contacted me back and acknowledged my gift, they never thanked me and I have no idea what they did with the original artwork that I donated to them. I was very disappointed in the total lack of respect they showed me and my gift to them. I wish I had the artwork back and I am very sorry I ever donated it to them.

Anonymous said...

About 7 years ago, one day while the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was open a woman walked to the museum, came in and went to the secret garden and sat down. Because the museum has no metal detectors when you enter, she was able to bring a handgun in with her. She shot herself while sitting there in the secret garden and committed suicide. Ringling Security heads Russell (Russ) Lynn Pillifant and Mitch Ladewski had to clean up the scene after her body was removed.

This was the second time that I heard of a female bringing a handgun into the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (because it has no metal detectors as you enter) while I worked there. The other time I am aware of, is that a woman accidentally left her handgun in the restroom of the visitor's center while she was attending a performance at the Historic Asolo Theater located in the same building. The gun was checked into the lost and found safe at the security office by a security supervisor, Derek Ross and the woman picked it up a day or so later.

There was at least one other suicide attempt that I am aware of also. While visiting the museum with his family, a man cut both his wrists. He was taken to the security office to wait for the ambulance to arrive. He cut his wrists horizontally across though and not vertically up and down so he did survive.

On another day in first decade of this century, a handgun fell out of the jacket of one of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU's male security attendants while he was on duty. It was illegal for him to have the gun with him on duty and he was fired.

I was also on duty the night a shark attacked a neighboring New College female student in the waters that the Ca' D'Zan is built next to. Andrea Lynch survived the attack by a 6 foot bull shark, but needed 100 stitches to 17 wounds. She was in the water only about 200 yards away from the Ca' D'Zan when the attack happened. You can see the result in photos at:
http://sharkattacksurvivors.com/shark_attack/viewtopic.php?t=980

Who knew an art museum could be such a dangerous place?

Anonymous said...

The Ringling will often play up the number of pieces in its collection by Marcel Duchamp. He is credited with sending the very first piece of mail art.

But he also did a pretty famous piece of artwork using his own semen. I wonder if The Ringling would exhibit it? Would they be proud to hang his dried cum on their treasured gallery walls?

Paysage fautif, or Faulty Landscape (some prefer Wayward Landscape), created in 1946 as a gift for Maria Martins, a woman who Duchamp loved but could not have. The piece consists of a Plexiglas-like sheet called Astralon, backed with black velvet, it is mounted in a simple wooden frame. Duchamp kept quiet about using his sperm in it. It was only identified as semen in 1987, by FBI laboratories in Houston, Texas, where the work was presented to the public for the first time. Then it wasn't until 1989 that the art world's suspicions were confirmed by genetic testing and it was determined to be Duchamp's very own sperm.

See it here: http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/naumann/Images/naumann6-15-8.jpg

The Ringling will gladly play up their connection to mail art's Duchamp to bring in admission dollars. But they will have the mail artist Dennis James Gergel Jr. arrested and not care one bit about it, because the name Gergel does not bring in any revenue for them. It is all about name recognition and financial profit. It is all about money for The Ringling, not about the actual art at all. It is not about if Gergel's art was any good or not, it is that Gergel's art does not bring in visitors to The Ringling. Gergel is an unknown artist and big museums don't care about unknown artists, they only care about famous artist's with famous names that they can exploit.

Look at the bigger picture, read Rape of an Estate by Joe McKennon. Look at how The Ringling time after time censors and tries to hide the facts of their actions. Their motivation is not art, it is to make money off of people who create and want to look at art.




Anonymous said...

We need to begin the finial solution of the Gergel question as soon as possible.
-Der Ringling

ROGER WILCO said...

When I worked at FSU, Douglas Kingsley was known as the "one armed bandit." This nickname was started by Debi Schalch, who disliked him. Mr. Kingsley was not very liked at all in fact and he often bragged about how much money he had made from his handicap. He fought bitterly with Derek Ross there and would talk about others behind their backs. Rilla Fleming often spoke about how he hated and mistreated women. She said they had dated for a short time until she realized what a jackass he was.

ROGER WILCO said...

What Dennis James Gergel Jr. did was this: He took names of John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU employees like Derek Ross and Douglas Kingsley and made silly puns on them like Betsy Ross and Douglas Kinksley. He wrote those on magazine subscription cards and then added those magazine subscription cards to his collages on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and then mailed those collages out to his mail art friends. And for this, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU had him arrested for use of other's Personal ID.

This is so disturbing. Just yesterday I was looking at a piece of art by Ray Johnson and he used the name of Betsy Ross in it. He never got arrested for using that name.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU were clearly out to get this former employee. And because he is not famous artist, as say a Ray Johnson, nobody really notices or cares about his arrest for making art. It is unfair and wrong of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU to have gotten away with this. A museum of art should not be getting artists arrested. That is not doing anything positive for the Arts.

This museum should be investigated for what it did to this unknown artist and former employee of theirs. They were clearly out to get him.



Anonymous said...

Why does the same weirdo (Dennis James Gergel Jr.) keep posting stuff all over the internet about (The) Ringling?

Posted by Anon Amos (Ringling/FSU Employee) on August 21, 2015

Anonymous said...

http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/exhibitions/please-add-to-and-return-to-submissions/works/367/

Ray Johnson strikes a blow at The Ringling from beyond the grave.

Anonymous said...

As far as "cruising", the men's restrooms in the Ringling Museum's courtyard have in the last few years become known on Mondays to be where gay and bisexual men congregate in order to meet and have anonymous oral sex.

reply to (Show the comment)

Yes, Mondays are free admission for Florida residents and that is why the restrooms there have become "cruising" spots on Mondays.