ST. PETERSBURG — Eleanor Reese Morse, co-founder of the Salvador Dali Museum, has died. Her decision in the late 1970s to relocate the private collection she and her husband, the late Cleveland industrialist A. Reynolds Morse, had amassed changed the local landscape.
Mrs. Morse died Thursday, at home. She was 96.
Mrs. Morse was a fluent linguist with master's degrees in French and Spanish, whose translations of Dali's writings helped inspire Rollins College to award her an honorary doctorate.
The Morses started their collection in their Cleveland home, but by the 1960s it needed more space. They moved the paintings to a wing of their Injection Molders Supply Co., opening that museum in 1971 with Dali himself in attendance.
Growing pains resurfaced by the mid 1970s, and the Morses looked for another home for the collection. The Salvador Dali Museum opened in St. Petersburg on March 7, 1982, and has attracted more than 200,000 visitors a year.
On Jan. 11, 2011, the museum will open in a new location on the downtown waterfront.