Image: John Pirman

Ron McCarty, for 38 years curator of John and Mable Ringling's fantastical Venetian Gothic mansion, Ca’ d’Zan (House of John), retires Aug. 31. Before he goes, the Ringling Museum will host a private ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 23 for the newly restored historic swimming pool in front of the mansion. The restoration was a gift from the David Bolger Foundation in honor of McCarty's decades-long dedication to the house and its contents. 

According to a museum spokeswoman, "The pool was originally constructed in 1924 with a crescent-shaped bench and diving stand decorated with hand-painted Spanish-style tiles. The sides of the pool were lined with white marble slabs. Excavation in May 2018 revealed sky-blue ceramic tiles on the floor of the pool, which were recreated for the restoration project. For visitors’ safety the floor of the swimming pool has been raised to become a shallow reflecting pool, although a water feature creates an illusion of depth. The statue of Venus that originally watched over bathers has been returned to its former location."

In a recent issue of Sarasota Magazine, we asked McCarty to dish on his favorite things in the Ca d'Zan. Among them, of course, is the pool. Find out the rest here.

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