Thursday, June 18, 2015

Art & Architecture : The Dali Museum

During our last weeks in St. Pete, I felt the pressure to accomplish the remaining items on my bucket list. Fortunately, the hubs and I were able to make it out to The Dali Museum one Thursday evening (to take advantage of the discounted admission) to check out not only the surrealist art inside but the stunning architecture of the building itself.

The Hallucinogenic Toreador.

If I’m honest, I was initially more excited to tour the grounds than look at the art. I’m not much into surrealism. But I was pleasantly surprised when not only I but also G thoroughly enjoyed the Dali’s permanent exhibition. And it was all thanks to a docent-led tour. If we had simply strolled the galleries on our own, we never would have appreciated or, heck, even noticed all the nuances and optical illusions present in Salvador Dali’s work, never mind the significance of such details. My husband is most certainly not an art museum-loving kind of man, but while looking at the paintings on the tour and listening to the docent’s explanations, I was giddy each time I heard him murmur with interest: “Oh yeah. Whoa. I see it!” While I’m grateful that G will accompany me on these types of cultural excursions, it’s even better when he actually enjoys himself and we can talk about what we saw and learned together.

My second favorite part of the day? Yes, the architecture and the grounds, of course. The building’s exterior is such a curious and fantastical thing. The "enigma," a large, free-form bubble made up of 1,062 triangular pieces of glass, seems to be bursting out from the simple concrete walls. The geodesic dome reflects the beauty around it: the blue sky, the clouds, the palms, the bay and the museum garden, which is a lovely area to just sit for awhile, and let time melt away (on the melting clock bench, no less). A colorful, whimsical art installation has formed on a tree, where people hang their admission wristbands. Inside the museum, a spiral staircaseresembling the helical shape of a DNA moleculetakes on a life of its own, reaching toward the glass ceiling and the sky above. Before we left, gray storm clouds were rolling in, typical of a Florida summer evening. It’s an ever-changing scene out the Dali’s massive window; nature is painting a new canvas all the time. 

Many more photos from our evening at The Dali after the jump (click the Keep Reading button below), including a look at some of our favorite works!

The front entrance.

The Enigma.

The Mathematical Garden.

Admission wristbands hang from The Wish Tree, floating on the breeze.

A playful and interactive nod to Salvador Dali's iconic mustache.

Letting time melt away.

View of the Tampa Bay waterfront from the gardens.

Daddy Longlegs of the EveningHope! The cornerstone of the Museum's collection.

Girl with Curls.

The Average Bureaucrat.

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea...

...Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko)

The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory.

Helical staircase.

View from the third floor, inside the Enigma.

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