Arts Advocates members discovered a Sarasota hidden gem on the November 6, educational tour to the Elling Eide Center. Located at the end of a barely noticeable one-lane road off S. Tamiami Trail in a seventy-two-acre nature preserve on Little Sarasota Bay, the Elling Eide Center is a private research library dedicated to the study of classical Chinese literature and art.
Containing over 60,000 volumes and 300 scholarly journal articles, the library is a leading resource for Asian Studies in the southeastern United State. Asian Collections Curator and Research Specialist, Ann Roddy, delighted the group with her knowledge and passion for the library and its collections.
Ann's demonstration and history of the collection of traditional 19th Century shadow puppets was a highlight of the tour. The puppets will be on display in a special exhibition at the Ringling Museum beginning August 2020.
Interesting examples of decorative art from the Chinese and Japanese medieval period were displayed throughout the Guy Peterson-designed center. The tawny band across the top of the piece below shows 100 ways to write longevity.
Sarasota is fortunate to be home to the Elling Eide Center and Arts Advocates members were fortunate to experience this local treasure. For more information about Elling Eide, the fascinating man responsible for the creation of the center, see the New York Times article published in 2017 about Elling Eide, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/us/elling-eide-library-sarasota-florida-chinese-literature.html. For more information on the Elling Eide Center, https://www.ellingoeide.org/