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Dali Museum

Editor's pick

Categories: Attraction, Tourist attraction, Museum

Features: Classes offered, Guided tours

Payment options: Credit cards accepted

Alcohol: Beer and wine only

Parking: Garage

Admission: $24, $22 seniors, $17 students and children ages 13-17, $10 children ages 6-12. $10 after 5 p.m. Thursdays.

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. 

On display: Horst Photographs: Fashion and Surrealism features 180 works including original photographs, sketches, films, cameras and prints from the photographer, who was well known during the 20th century for his high fashion photos and portraits of famous people. Remains on display through Sep. 6. Dali Revealed - Candid Moments from the Artist's Life includes 48 archival photographs taken by Robert Descharnes, showing Dali in his studio and in various locales in and around Spain. Through Fall.

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. 


Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The museum is closed on Christmas, and has special holiday hours. Visit their website for details.

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

Coffee with a Curator
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:30am
Surrealism + Photography

Cult Classics @ Dali
Thursday, August 4, 2016 7:00pm

Dali Lecture
Thursday, August 18, 2016 6:00pm

Dali and Beyond Film Series
Saturday, July 30, 2016 1:00pm
Saturday, August 6, 2016 1:00pm
The Devil Wears Prada
Saturday, August 13, 2016 1:00pm
Saturday, August 20, 2016 1:00pm
Coco Before Chanel

Dillydally with Dali
Saturday, July 30, 2016 11:45am
Saturday, August 6, 2016 11:45am
Saturday, August 20, 2016 11:45am

Morning at the Museum
Saturday, August 6, 2016 9:30am

Storytime for Families
Thursday, July 28, 2016 11:15am
Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:30pm
Thursday, August 4, 2016 11:15am
Thursday, August 4, 2016 3:30pm
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 11:15am
Thursday, August 18, 2016 11:15am
Thursday, August 18, 2016 3:30pm
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 11:15am
Thursday, August 25, 2016 11:15am
Thursday, August 25, 2016 3:30pm

Yoga & Dali
Sunday, July 31, 2016 10:30am
Sunday, August 7, 2016 10:30am
Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:30am
Sunday, August 21, 2016 10:30am

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Dali Museum - Downtown St. Petersburg