Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Dali Museum

The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida
Join me this summer as I embark on a tour of museums around the world.  My first stop is the Dali Museum, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The Dali Museum was formed by avid collectors A. Reynolds and Eleanor R. Morse.  It houses more than two thousand works of art by Dali.  Paintings from all periods of his career, as well as works on paper and objects, are included in the museum's permanent collection which spans more than four decades.

Self-Portrait in the Studio, by Salvador Dali
 When I arrived at the museum, I was immediately impressed by the facility's unique architecture which showcases a 75 ft. tall free-form geodesic glass bubble, referred to as the "enigma."  On the waterfront, a garden in the shape of a maze invites us to explore the relationships between math, science and nature.

The facility's interior is equally impressive, featuring a helical staircase that reminds us of Dali's fascination with spirals.  The museum has three levels.  On the first floor, visitors can purchase a Dali inspired item, enjoy a snack in the cafe, attend a film at the theater or take an art workshop in the classroom.  The second floor has an extensive library and the galleries are located on the third floor.

 Salvador Dali was a diverse, intelligent and prolific artist whose began his career as a teenager and continued into his seventies.  As I walked through the museum's galleries, it became evident to me that Salvador Dali experimented with several different styles and media throughout this lengthy career.  For example, some of Dali's earlier paintings were reminiscent of Picasso, while his later paintings were rendered in a more classical style.
The Ecumenical Council, by Salvador Dali


While I enjoyed the artwork in all the galleries, my favorite pieces were the monumentally sized paintings displayed along the outer walls which Dali labored in the last decades of his career.  One such piece, The Ecumenical Council, depicts both the earthly and heavenly realms.  The artist at his easel is pictured in the painting's lower left corner, part of the earthly realm.  The pope, as God's messenger, is pictured in the upper right corner as well as in the center.

To learn more about the Dali Museum, visit the museum's website at thedali.org.

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