Salvador Dali is arguably the most famous surrealist painter of all time. He was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, and hosted his first solo art show in Barcelona by the age of twenty-one.
His original, striking and dream-like images can be alarming, intriguing and thought provoking all at once. Creating unconventional art in all kinds of mediums, Dali’s work conveys complex symbolism through paintings, drawings, film, sculptures, and photography.
By the time of his death in January of 1989, Salvador Dali reigned as the world’s most eccentric, flamboyant, and prominent member of the surrealism movement. To this day, his peculiar work is celebrated by many and recognized by most.
In Florida, there is a breathtaking building showcasing the extraordinary work of this cutting-edge artist in a museum solely dedicated to his legacy.
Welcome to The Dali Museum.
Located in the beautiful and charming city of St. Petersburg, The Dali Museum displays over 2,000 pieces of Salvador Dali’s creative artwork, including 96 oil paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs and personal documents.
The building alone is unusual, innovative and dramatic, hinting at the surreal and imaginative contents inside. A large, cubist-inspired concrete entrance with a calming water feature opens to a stunning glass paneled ceiling and a winding, ribbon-like spiral staircase.
It is simply breathtaking.
The Dali Museum exhibits the life work of Salvador Dali in a series of open rooms with floating walls. Visitors can view Dali’s early impressionistic style and walk through the many series of his constantly evolving artistic themes.
Admission includes a free-audio guide and public tours. My daughters, ages 10 and 11, were given an interactive worksheet and treasure hunt which they greatly enjoyed.
Dali’s slightly strange images are masterfully realistic, but placed into unrealistic settings, sometimes posing more questions than answers.
The gifted visionary expressed himself in an entertainingly bizarre and outlandish manner, which visitors can perceive through many personal photographs.
Though Salvador Dali is most famous for his expressive surrealist paintings, the brilliant artist also created three-dimensional supernatural sculptures.
The whimsical and playful gardens, located on the grounds of the Dali museum, are just as alluring as his influential artwork.
The Dali Wish Tree was a highlight of our outdoor exploration.
My daughters tied wishes to the flowing strands, connecting their thoughts and hopes to other visitors. It was a very peaceful experience.
Dali’s artistic influence can be found not only in the architecture and design of this sublime museum, but obviously in the furniture, as well.
Café Gala is a modern and appetizing café located inside the Dali Museum. Named for Salvador Dali’s wife, the innovative café serves a culinary experience through Spanish-inspired tapas, small plates, soups and salads.
The café can be found on the first floor of the museum and paid admission is not required for guests who only wish to dine.
There are several indoor and outdoor tables with seating in the Avant-Garden patio and garden.
Try the mushroom and bacon Lardoon skewers, fried artichokes, serrano ham and Manchego croquettes, or the chilled tomato and cucumber soup.
There is also a large, funky and eclectic gift shop full of interesting Dali-inspired and art-themed items: perfume, umbrellas, t-shirts, jewelry, kitchenware, toys and mustache stickers.
Our entire family enjoyed our Dali Museum experience. Before we arrived in Florida, my daughters completed a full unit study focusing on surrealism and several surrealist artists, including Dali. Visiting the museum and seeing his work in person brought the entire curriculum to life. The Dali Museum was more spectacular than we imagined.
Museum admission prices are as follows:
FREE–Ages 5 and younger
$17.00–Students ages 13-17
$17.00–Students ages 18+ with ID
$22.00–Firefighters, educators, military and police with ID
$22.00–Seniors ages 65+
Members receive unlimited free admission. Membership for an individual is $60 and family membership is $100.
Admission includes entrance into all museum galleries, a free audio guide and public tours. The museum regularly hosts additional, non-permanent exhibits.
Visitors can download a Dali app and use their own earbuds for the audio tour, if preferred.
The museum is open 7 days a week and only closes on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and during the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.
Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Thursday. Thursday hours are 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Onsite parking is available for $10.00. Museum members park for free.
The Dali Museum is located at One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701. The main phone number is 727-823-3767. Visit their website for more information at www.thedali.org.
Did you know that Salvador Dali and Walt Disney created a film together called “Destino”?
Click here to check out the book detailing the friendship and artwork shared by these two innovative geniuses.
The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center is another amazing museum in St. Petersburg, FL. Click here to read all about it!
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