There are two world-class Salvador Dali Museums in the world, one in Figueras Spain, the other conveniently located here in beautiful downtown St. Pete, Florida, at One Dali Blvd. As someone lucky enough to have visited them both, I say unequivocally they are incredible, uniquely amazing and a must see. It’s worth coming to downtown St. Pete just to visit the Dali, though be careful; visiting downtown St. Pete has caused many many unsuspecting folks to, even if it takes a while, relocate here. You’ve been warned. ;-D
Operating Hours (As of December 2015)
Daily 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Thursdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
One Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
The St. Petersburg Salvador Dali Museum is open 7 days a week, most of the year. The Museum is closed Christmas Day (Dec 25) with other special holiday hours. Learn more on the official Dali website. The spectacular Museum Store and beautiful Gardens remain open for 30 minutes after closing.
Convenient on-site parking is available for $10, free for members (as available). Sounds like a great reason to Join the Dali. There is also free street parking, paid city parking garages and then the cool St. Petersburg Downtown Looper trolley.
Once you arrive at the Dali Museum, you might notice that the architecture is both beautiful and durable. According to the Dali website, the building was “Designed by architect Yann Weymouth of HOK, the new building combines the rational with the fantastical: a simple rectangle with 18-inch thick hurricane-proof walls out of which erupts a large free-form geodesic glass bubble known as the “enigma”. The “enigma”, which is made up of 1,062 triangular pieces of glass, stands 75 feet at its tallest point, a twenty-first century homage to the dome that adorns Dali’s museum in Spain. Inside, the Dali houses another unique architectural feature – a helical staircase – recalling Dali’s obsession with spirals and the double helical shape of the DNA molecule.”
The remainder of the Museum includes:
The Garden: “Outside on the waterfront, the Dali garden creates a unique environment of learning and tranquility. The Mathematical Garden allows students to experience the relationship between math and nature, and a labyrinth in the southeast corner invites exploration and well-being.”
The First Floor: “Visitors enter through the Dali Museum Store, featuring the largest collection of Dali-inspired merchandise in the world. A café offering Spanish-themed light fare has indoor and outdoor seating. The theater regularly shows a short film about the museum and is also the setting for concerts and lectures.”
The Second Floor “is where scholars of Dali and the Avant-garde will do research in the museum’s extensive library. ” And finally the Third Floor offers the Galleries. “Visitors arrive at a landing with a view of the gardens and waterfront through the “enigma”. On either side of the landing are two wings of gallery space. A section of paintings are on display along with Dali’s works of other media, including surrealist objects and a selection of Dali’s prints and drawings. Student work inspired by Dali is on view in the education gallery. ”
Hopefully you’ll allow plenty of time to wander, explore and take in the entire Saint Petersburg Salvador Dali Museum, as there is so much to see. Plus they most always feature exhibits by other world-class artists, like Escher, Picasso, Warhol and more. Go ahead and buy your Dali Museum tickets and enjoy!
Photos by Yann Weymouth 2011 courtsey of Phaidon.com
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