Ringling College honors Dr. Richard Basch

Dr. Richard Basch and his wife, Barbara pose for a photo in their home in 2009, following the announcement they would donate their extensive art glass collection to Ringling College.
Dr. Richard Basch and his wife, Barbara pose for a photo in their home
in 2009, following the announcement they would donate their
extensive art glass collection to Ringling College.

Dr. Larry R. Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design, wrote to the campus community on Monday, September 19, 2022 with the sad news of the passing of Dr. Richard Basch. Basch is survived by his loving wife Barbara, a son, daughter, and two granddaughters.

Richard and Barbara both grew up in a suburb of Boston where their parents were neighbors. They started dating and married a year later and were married for 58 years. In 1979, they moved to Sarasota living for a few years on Siesta Key, before moving to their current home in east Sarasota. Basch worked as a radiologist for over 50 years in Sarasota before his retirement.

In 1993 he and Barbara jumped head first into the world of studio art glass and began collecting and traveling the world to visit the studios of Chihuly, the Venice Masters, and so many others.

Having become involved with the College while serving on the Board of Ringling College’s Sarasota Museum of Art (now Sarasota Art Museum), the Basches made a monumental, two-fold philanthropic gift in 2009 that forever changed the fabric of Ringling College of Art and Design. The first part of their commitment was at that time the largest philanthropic gift ever made by individual donors in the College’s then-78-year history. The second part was donating their extraordinary, world-class collection of over 300 glass art objects exclusively to Ringling College. These items will come to the College after both Richard and Barbara pass. Various pieces from the Basch collection have been exhibited annually at the College in the Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery and Barbara leads a weekly tour each year while the exhibit is on display that has become a must-see on campus for the Sarasota community and beyond.

Several years later in 2014, the Basches announced another very generous gift that was instrumental in erecting the nearly 40,000-square-foot Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center. This building now houses a hot and cold shop for glassmaking, a wood shop, a “makerspace,” photography labs, a printmaking and letterpress studio, the Lois and David Stulberg Gallery, and classrooms. Of this incredible building, at the unveiling Basch said, “This building is an example of unintended consequences that have become consequential. We started this building out as a glassblowing facility, maybe 1,500 square feet. That didn’t fly, so now we have this,” he said with a smile. “Unintended consequences became consequential.”

Thompson had this to say about Basch: “I am so sad about Richard’s passing. He was a great friend, a confidant, an adviser, an active participant in Ringling College’s governance, and a beloved supporter of Ringling College. He and his wife have truly transformed the College forever. They have had an indelible impact on the students, past, present, and future, and are the true epitome of what inspiration and dedication can achieve through philanthropy.” 

Basch was an active member of the Ringling College Board of Trustees and more recently, an Honorary Life Trustee of the College. He was a member of the original Board of Directors for the Sarasota Art Museum, and, of course, an incredible friend to the College and the local arts community. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts degree from Ringling College at the opening of the Richard and Basch Visual Arts Center on March 10, 2017. 

He will be deeply missed by all of us at Ringling College and we are forever grateful for his inspirational leadership and support. The Ringling College flag will be lowered to half-mast for several days and the College plans to hold a celebration of life on campus to honor his and his legacy. Further details will be forthcoming. Our sincere condolences are with the Basch family during this difficult time. 

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Borrowing

Patron Type # of Items Type of Material Borrowing Time
Student 40 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Faculty and Staff 40 Books 6 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 7 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
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Ringling College LibraryAssociation Members CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
PreCollege 5 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Local Teacher 15 Books 3 weeks
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DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Chartwell’s and Follett employees located at Ringling 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
*The video game collection supports the research and teaching of the Game Art & Design program. Video games may not be checked out by Alumni, Ringling College Library Association members or Family members.

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The Alfred R. Goldstein Library features a wide variety of quiet, group study, and work process spaces. Looking for a quiet study area? Make your way up to the 3rd floor to look for a book in the Research Collection or peruse the new art magazines while relaxing in comfortable seating. When the weather is nice, you can take your coffee from Roberta’s Café on the first floor to one of the four terraces to work outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Looking for meeting space to get together with a group? Check out the group study rooms, which are available on all three floors of the Goldstein Library. The 10 group study rooms are available to students on a first-come first served basis, or available for booking by Ringling College faculty and staff for group and class meetings.

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