America’s Dali Museum Should be High on Everyone’s Bucket List!
By Paul Chimera
Salvador Dali Historian/Writer
A late-breaking news report informs us that the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida is going through another growth spurt. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, a planned $38 million expansion will allow for a new parking garage, space for digital interaction, and education space.
I love following America’s Dali Museum, because for me it’s the most interesting art museum in the country. That, of course, is because Salvador Dali was the most interesting, innovative, exciting and skillful artist of the past century. Sorry, Pablo.
It all started when Reynolds and Eleanor Morse made the pivotal decision to display a large portion of their privately held collection of Dali art in an annexed wing of their plastic injection molding supply office building in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, Ohio. I had the pleasure of handling publicity for the world’s first Dali Museum – at the time the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the work of a single living artist.
In 1982, the Morse collection – unparalleled then and now, and including some 90 or so oils, plus drawings, watercolors, prints, sculpture and other items – was relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida. I had the pleasure of meeting and having a drink with Dali’s manager, Capt. Peter Moore, when we were both in town during the museum’s inauguration week.
Then the collection at Third Street South in St. Pete picked itself up and moved a few blocks to its present, more hurricane-friendly location in an exciting new building at 1 Dali Boulevard. The amoeba-like glass atrium area has grown on me, and it somewhat echoes the glass geodesic dome atop the Teatro-Museo Dali in Figueres, Spain. (I still, however, don’t care for the St. Pete Dali Museum logo, but that’s a whole other story).
Now we get word that the Salvador Dali Museum will be undergoing an additional expansion. It’s good news – always – seeing the nation’s Dali Museum changing, growing, and becoming even more exciting and accommodating.
If you haven’t yet been to the Salvador Dali Museum in Florida, this adventure simply must be placed high up on your bucket list!
[Images used under Fair Use provisions for journalistic purposes only]