Last season we were heralding the opening of the new Tampa Museum of Art.
This season belongs to the Salvador Dalí Museum.
Its big and bold new building opens Jan. 11 at Fifth Avenue and Bayshore Drive SE on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront, a few blocks north of its current location.
Do a casual drive-by and you'll see that the design by architect Yann Weymouth is both a sturdy rebuttal to a Category 5 hurricane and a jubilant celebration of Salvador Dalí's eccentric imagination. An enormous sculptural addition made of about 900 glass triangles held in a steel grid oozes from the roof line to the ground 75 feet below. Weymouth has likened it to a giant teardrop succumbing to gravity.
The $36 million building, at 66,450 square feet, doubles the amount of gallery space. Many more works from the museum's permanent collection can be on view at once instead of rotated in and out of storage.
During the first year, museum leaders plan no non-Dalí exhibitions, instead emptying the vaults and putting out the majority of the collection by the Spanish surrealist.
The show's name says it all: "Viva la Revelacion!"
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic