Salvador Dalí Museum
Located just a few blocks outside the downtown core, the Salvador Dalí Museum (1000 3rd St. S., St. Petersburg, 727/823-3767, www.salvadordalimuseum.com, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Wed. and Sat., 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Thurs., 9:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Fri., noon–5:30 p.m. Sun., $15 adults, $13.50 seniors, $10 students, $4 children, children 4 and under free) is an essential stop for even the most casual art lover.
The Salvador Dalí Museum houses the largest collection of the infamous surrealist’s paintings in the United States. While such an important aggregation of 20th-century art might be expected to be found in New York or even in Miami, there’s something perversely perfect about these still-provocative works being stashed away in a relatively nondescript building in sedate waterfront St. Petersburg.
Little distinguishes the exterior of the building beyond the slash of Dalí’s signature in brushed metal and a “melting” bench (complete with a clock) nestled under a tree. Once inside, visitors travel chronologically and thematically through the substantial collection. Several of Dalí’s more famous pieces are often traveling to other museums, and others are not part of this collection, so don’t have your heart set on seeing any specific works.
What’s most impressive is the spacious area devoted to the painter’s large-scale masterworks like the 14-foot-tall The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and smaller pencil pieces and various sketches provide considerable insight into his formative years.
The Salvador Dalí Museum is scheduled to move into a new, larger, and more modern facility in 2010.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition