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John Ringling: Art Collector

The Ringling Archives

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The Ringling Archives. Papers of John Ringling, 1866-1936. Correspondence, Box 1.

  • The general correspondence contains many letters to and from John Ringling with contents pertaining to art dealings. Whether discussing matters of shipment and delivery or regarding the sale of specific pieces or entire collections, this series of correspondence is undoubtedly valuable to understanding Ringling as a collector. Several folders contain letters from various galleries or personal collectors offering Ringling the sale of specific works or collections.

A 1927 letter from Julius Böhler to John Ringling (folder 5), is quite interesting for its content: Böhler discusses the sale of the Benson Collection, which included a Veronese and a Palma Vecchio, and the sale of the Holford collection. He also mentions going to Munich to order the frames for the Rubenses. The letter illuminates the affectionate relationship he had with John Ringling.

Other notable correspondence are a letter from Böhler to John H. Phillips (folder 5) and letters to John Ringling from F.W. Stokes (folder 7), Mrs. E.J. Trotter (folder 7), Albert Keller (folder 8), Arthur Fischer (folder 8), French & Company Inc. (folder 9), Max Rothschild, Ltd. London (folder 9), and J.P. Morgan (folder 5), just to name a few.

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