Why You Should Visit the Dali Museum
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Why You Should Visit the Dali Museum

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL grants visitors a chance to understand the innovative mind of Salvador Dali through his many collected works.

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Why You Should Visit the Dali Museum
Kaylen Alvarez

Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí was born May 11, 1904, in Figures, Spain. As a young boy Dalí showed an interest in art, but it wasn't until the 1920's when he finally came into contact with other prized artists with whom he pioneered the Surrealist movement with. Dalí is best known for his melting clock painting, The Persistence of Memory, but his other pieces are not to be overshadowed.

The founders of The Dalí Museum, A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, bought their first Dalí painting in 1942, and the next year they met Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala face-to-face in New York City. The two couples formed a long lasting friendship which lasted decades. From this friendship, the Morses accumulated their very own, personal Dalí collection that included works spanning from the beginning to the end of Dalí's life. The paintings were first displayed in their home, but they are now displayed in The Dalí Museum's permanent gallery for all to see.

Upon arriving to the museum, you are greeted at the door soon after passing through a jungle-like pathway, bordered by two small artificial ponds. Spanish rocks seen before the entryway are assembled to look as if they support the left side of the building, and large iron ants are seen crawling up.

After walking through the dream-like entrance, once you've payed your way in, you'll pass by a large gift shop which offers a plethora of Salvador Dalí merchandise, as well as some pricey Dalí inspired jewelry. But beyond the gift shop is a cafe named after Dalí's wife Gala, where you can enjoy premium beverages.

Although the first floor has a lot to offer, the third floor is where you'll find the galleries. In the museum's permanent gallery, donated by the Morses, you can find a multitude of Dalí's prints, photographs, paintings, works on paper, book illustrations, and whimsical objects. One similarity among the various pieces in the Morse collection is the immense detail presented in each of his works. Many of the paintings are small and intricate, yet they still appear to look realistic and vibrant.

Salvador Dalí: Lobster Phone, 1938Kaylen Alvarez

New to the museum is a one of a kind exhibit displaying the surrealist works of Salvador Dalí and Rene Magritte. Both were influential surrealist artist who propelled the era forward with their unique approach to art. The collection is broken up into themes shared amongst the two artists. One of the themes presents that artists' paintings which have a double meaning. At first glance, you may not be able to notice the secondary images hidden within the paintings, but once your eyes adjust you will be in awe of what you see. Their ability to camouflage and merge two images so flawlessly speak to Magritte and Dalí's advanced artistry.

Salvador Dalí: Portrait of My Dead Brother, 1963Kaylen Alvarez

In the Magritte & Dalí exhibit, visitors are introduced to an immersive cloud 9 experience. There is a room in the gallery which places you in the sky, amongst the clouds thanks to technology. The floor and the walls are projected upon with a beautiful cloudy scene, and cloud lights hang from above. In a neighboring room there is a screen which created the illusion that you are actually in one of Dalí's paintings.

Technology has been a huge influence to the museum's displays as there has been a virtual reality exhibit in The Dalí Museum since 2016. Up until December, 2022, you can experience the museum's virtual reality exhibit entitled: Dreams. A VR headset brings Dalí's art to life, fully immersing visitors into the mind of one of the world's greatest artists.

Once you've exited the Museum, don't forget to make your way to the Avant Garden, the exterior of the Museum is just as exciting. The Avant Garden is home to Spanish rocks, a large wishing tree, larger than life Salvador Dalí inspired decor, and a maze-like Labyrinth. The greenery is beautiful, and it offers a great view of the building's unique architecture.

Display in Avant GardenKaylen Alvarez

If The Dali Museum wasn't on your bucket list, you may just want to add it. You don't have to be an art expert to know that Salvador Dalí was a creative genius. It's a truly gratifying experience.

The Dali Museum Kaylen Alvarez

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