Dali Museum

Editor's pick

Categories: Museum, Tourist attraction

Features: Classes offered, Guided tours

Payment options: Credit cards accepted

Alcohol: Beer and wine only

More in this neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg

The museum holds the largest collection outside of Spain of art by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. Cleveland industrialist Reynolds Morse and his wife, Eleanor, donated the collection, which represents a 45-year friendship between the Morses and Dali and his wife, Gala. 

Built at a cost of $36 million, this astonishing one-of-a-kind structure along St. Petersburg's waterfront is double the size of the old Dali Museum, which opened in 1982. It was designed specifically for the collection, and for the first time in its history, the museum will have room to continuously exhibit all 96 paintings that are in its permanent collection. 

Currently: Currently: Marvels of Illusion, Delve into the world of double images and illusions in a showcase of Dali paintings, prints and sculpture, plus a special work from 16th century illusionist artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, on loan from the Ringling Museum. Through Oct. 12.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Holiday Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 26 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 27, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 28 - 29, noon-7 p.m. Dec.30,  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Dec. 31.

Read our special report.

The first floor has admissions, a gift shop, cafe, community room, classroom and theater. The third floor houses galleries. The second floor is for administration and a research library and is not open to the public.

It has two distinctive architectural elements:
 
The architectural element known as the "Glass Enigma,' visible from the outside of the museum, is composed of 1,062 glass triangles. It is the only structure of its kind and size in the United States. The panes are cleaned by climbers who can bolt into anchors built into the metal grid holding the glass, then ascend with buckets of soap and water.
 
Inside, a free-standing spiral staircase was created onsite by pouring concrete into molds attached to scaffolding rising 60 feet. Architect Yann Weymouth  said it was tested to withstand the most grueling stress: two rugby teams dancing on it to disco music.
 
The grounds, called the Avant Garden, include examples of the golden rectangle and golden spiral, based on the Fibonacci sequence,  found in natural forms. It's a progressive sequence of numbers in which each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two: 1 + 1 = 2; 1 + 2 = 3; 2 + 3 = 5; 3 + 5 = 8 and so on. When applied to spacial ratios, it forms what many consider to be the most aesthetically beautiful proportions in art and architecture. Dalí used both principles in his paintings (see the Nature Morte Vivante, for example).
 
Another landscape feature is a labyrinth modeled on one at Chartres Cathedral in France. Unlike a maze, there are no wrong turns and there is only one way in and out so you can't get lost.
 
The northwest corner of the building appears to be supported by a large boulder. The "rock' is concrete that surrounds the real support and has been finished to resemble the limestone used in the landscaping. It's fitted with misters and planters.  On one side of the concrete "rock,' a spigot dispenses drinking water that museum director Hank Hine calls the Fountain of Youth.
 
An estimated 1,200 to 1,600 tons of Florida limestone dot the site. Most were excavated from the Homestead area, where the densest examples are found.
 
The only non-Florida rock is one given to the Dali Museum by Cadaques, the village in northeastern Spain where Dali grew up. The area is famous for its stone outcroppings, and Dali used them frequently in his landscapes. Most of the area is considered a protected preserve; special government permission was needed to remove this 4,500-pound rock. It sits alone between two ficus trees on the east side of the garden.
 
The Center for the Arts Plaza connects the Dali Museum to the Mahaffey Theater. It is planted with a grove (called a bosk, which implies a symmetrical design) of crepe myrtle trees strung with LED lights called Tivolis, a broad expanse of lawn and wide grass steps.
 

Events at Dali Museum

Breakfast with Dali for Families
Saturday, August 2, 2014 9:30am

Coffee with a Curator
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:30am

Dali and Beyond Film Series
Saturday, August 30, 2014 1:00pm Mulholland Drive
Saturday, August 23, 2014 1:00pm The Holy Mountain
Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:00pm Magritte
Saturday, August 16, 2014 1:00pm Juliet of the Spirits
Saturday, August 9, 2014 1:00pm The Saragossa Manuscript
Thursday, August 7, 2014 6:00pm The World of Tomorrow
Saturday, August 2, 2014 1:00pm Kurosawa's Dreams
Saturday, July 26, 2014 1:00pm The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Saturday, July 19, 2014 1:00pm Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Thursday, July 17, 2014 6:00pm Arcimboldo

Liquid Desires
Saturday, August 23, 2014 8:00pm

Movies on the Patio
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 7:00pm Fight Club
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 7:00pm Airplane
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 7:00pm Wayne's World

Our Town Conversations
Thursday, August 28, 2014 6:30pm
Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:30pm

Picasso / Dali, Dali / Picasso Exhibition Opening
Saturday, November 8, 2014 10:00am

Storytime for Families
Thursday, August 28, 2014 11:15am
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:15am
Thursday, August 21, 2014 11:15am
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 11:15am
Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:15am
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:15am
Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:15am
Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:15am
Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:15am

Yoga & Dali
Sunday, August 31, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, August 24, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, August 17, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, August 10, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, August 3, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:00pm
Sunday, July 13, 2014 12:00pm

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Dali Museum - Downtown St. Petersburg