The Ringling Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Restore the Ca’d’Zan’s Organ
(Published in Scene magazine)
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is thrilled to announce that they have been selected as the recipient of a $1,500,000 grant from the Wyncote Foundation, at the recommendation of Frederick R. Haas and Rafael Gomez. The grant will be used for the restoration of the Ringling’s Aeolian Organ Opus 1559 (1924). The Aeolian organ, prominently displayed in the grand court of the Ca’d’Zan mansion, was used by John and Mable Ringling to provide background music during their intimate dinner parties. Mable Ringling was famous for her large garden parties and musicales featuring guest artists who came from New York, Boston and Tampa to play the organ.
“The pipe organ is an important cultural icon and served as the heart of the Ca’d’Zan” said Steven High, The Ringling’s Executive Director,” After restoration, it will provide a significant addition to the visitor’s experience, creating an auditory component to complement the visual experience. We are grateful to the Wyncote Foundation for their generous grant and look forward to once again filling this incredible space with music.”
The Ringling has been fundraising for this project over the last several years, raising nearly $245,000 from generous local donors. These gifts will be combined with the grant to move forward on the much-anticipated restoration of the organ.
Parsons Pipe Organ Builders of Canandaigua, New York has been selected to perform the restoration work. Parsons has specific expertise in the restoration of historic residential organs. Parsons Organ maintains the organs of the Eastman School of Music and recently installed the organ in the George Eastman House Museum. The Ringling work is expected to take over two years and the Ringling’s organ will be shipped to New York for the majority of the restoration.