In partnership with the Department of Art History in the College of Fine Arts, the The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (The Ringling) offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an outstanding museum environment. The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida and part of the FSU College of Fine Arts. Located on sixty-six acres of bayfront property in Sarasota, the Ringling combines outstanding art and circus museums with a historic mansion and theater. It features an extensive archive and one of the largest art reference libraries in the southeastern United States. Founded in 1946 as a state agency, it has been under the stewardship of Florida State University since 2000. Today, the Ringling ranks among the largest and most prestigious university arts complexes in the world.
After completing six museum and art history courses in Tallahassee during the first year of study, students in the MA Program in Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies may choose to spend their second full year of study at the Ringling, combining professional coursework and internship in the museum. The program provides insight into and training for museum careers through practical work experience not available in most academic settings.
Students spend up to eight weeks working in each museum department, participating in all aspects of museum operations and learning how each department fits into the museum as a whole. A final capstone project is developed out of coursework and the internship experience.
Each semester students in The Ringling Course enroll in a graduate seminar designed to put the internship in context. These seminars are led by David Berry, assistant director of academic and student affairs at the Ringling. The courses provide students with a deeper understanding of museum theory and practice and an opportunity to discuss exhibition issues in depth with curatorial staff and other museum professionals.
For additional information please contact Dr. Kristin Dowell, director of Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies.