By: Sally Baker
Salvador Dalí’s life left the world inspired with vivid images of numerous mind-bending arts. Born May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Spain to his passing January 23, 1989 again in Figueres, this legendary man changed the face of artistic genius across the world. St. Petersburg, Florida continues to hold the honor of displaying his arts in the new Dalí Museum located at One Dali Blvd.
The collection was first displayed in Cleveland, Ohio where friends of the artist and wife proudly shared the pieces from their home. A. Reynolds Morse and his wife, Eleanor Morse, had collected their dear friend’s artwork for over 25 years. The time came when they made the decision to give Dalí’s art a more permanent home. The Morse family then opened their own type of museum located at their office building in Beachwood, Ohio determined to not separate any of Dalí’s art. Due to the high volume of traffic the museum was receiving, the couple again decided to relocate Dalí’s art. The search was not easy, accompanied with national debate and criticism of having an entire museum dedicated to a single artist, but Morse and his wife set out on a journey that would eventually land the pieces in a marine warehouse in Downtown St. Petersburg, which was later renovated into a respectful museum. This would be the home of the art for the next 19 years.
On January 11th, 2011 at 11:11 am, the new Dalí Museum was unveiled. Visitors from all over the world came to support the grand opening including Susan Sarandon, the mayors of St. Petersburg and Tampa, even Princess Cristina of Spain. The $36 million museum, with help from Spanish royalty, was designed by the HOK architects and is said to withstand a category 5 hurricane. The new building displays a majestic glass and concrete exterior placed on the relaxing St. Petersburg waterfront. All the beauty of the building itself is complemented perfectly by Dalí’s artwork held on the inside. Displaying 96 oil paintings, over 100 watercolors and drawings, as well as a wide variety of photographs, sculptures and objects, Dalí inhabits the viewer’s mind leaving even the most opinionated critic speechless.
The museum also provides educational programs for youth, family and adults as well as different events that they update on their website. Become a visitor, become a member, but most importantly become one of the lucky who are able to experience Dalí’s legacy.
For all additional information, visit the official Dalí’s Website.
Special thanks to the collectors, A. Reynolds Morse and Eleanor Morse, for making this museum possible.