Dali Museum

The Dali Museum is a must-see for any art fans planning a trip to the West Coast of Florida. Each year, 200,000 visitors from across the globe visit the Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg. This surrealist artist is well known across the globe, and the museum has become a popular cultural tourism location. Devoted to educational programs, film series, concerts, and lectures in addition to the exhibitions, this museum has become an important center of the discussion of art. Of all Florida art museums, few please art fans as much as this space, where visitors can enter the unique mind and boundless imagination of Dali.

Even though the Dali Museum opened its door in St Petersburg, Florida, in 1982, the origin of the collection goes back further than this—all the way back to 1942, in fact. In Ohio, an industrialist and his wife bought their first painting from Dali, and a lifelong friendship began. Over 40 years, A. Reynolds Morse and Eleanor Reese acquired the largest private collection of Dali paintings in the world. When the couple began searching for a permanent home for the collection, they were contacted by local community leaders in St Petersburg. With the financial support of this city, one of the best Florida art museums was officially formed.

Salvador Dali Museum
Salvador Dali Museum  Image: Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater

The Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg also includes some work of other surrealist and like-minded artists. Visitors will see sculpture by Joan Miro and other masterpieces of surrealism, though the main focus remains Dali, despite these additions to the collection. The total collection includes 2,140 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures by the master. The museum holds the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Spain and includes eight masterworks and 96 oil paintings. This extensive collection draws a crowd not only from those visiting St Petersburg, but from nearby Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, and beaches along the Gulf Coast.

One concern about the Dali Museum for some travelers is that it is not one of the cheaper attractions in St Petersburg. Discounts are available for seniors and students, however. The Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg is open seven days a week, with varying hours. Monday through Saturday the museum is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm, with evening hours until 8 pm on Thursdays. The Dali Museum is also open on Sundays from noon to 5:30 pm. If you’re traveling on a budget, one tactic is to visit the museum on a Thursday, when entrance is only $5 between 5 and 8 pm.

Like many Florida art museums, the Dali Museum also offers guided tours, which can help you make the most of your admission. If you’re interested in learning more in-depth information about the Spanish surrealist painter, take one of the guided tours. The paintings on display provide an excellent overview of the aesthetic of the artist, with works painted from 1917 through 1970. Dali’s major themes and symbols are seen in these oil paintings, as are his progression over time and different periods of his work. Whether you have a deep interest in Dali or are just looking to add a little culture to your St Petersburg vacation, don’t miss out on the chance to see the work of this Spanish master.

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