The Dali


I don’t work for the greater Tampa Bay tourism board.

Most tourists visit our metro area for the weather and to spend a few days on our gorgeous beaches. First they take the kids to Orlando then they drive the 90 minutes here for a bit of rest and relaxation on St. Pete or Clearwater Beach.

Nobody visits us for the culture. Usually it’s to visit Nana and Poppa.

We do have a hidden jewel however – one well worth the visit for those so inclined.

The Dali Museum on the waterfront in St. Pete.

Dali DiscoveryOfAmerica.jpg

The Dali Museum is home to 7 of the 18 “masterwork” paintings by Dalí (including The Hallucinogenic Toreador and The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus), the most of any museum in the world. To be considered a masterwork these paintings must measure at least 5 feet (1.5 m) in any direction, and have been worked on for over a year.

The Hallucinogenic Toreador.png

The museum’s collection includes 96 oil paintings, over 100 watercolors and drawings, 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures and objets d’art, and an extensive archival library. Permanent collection displays are periodically rotated, and several temporary shows are mounted each year.

The Ecumenical Council by Salvador Dali.jpg

Our Dali has the largest collection of his work outside of his home country.

The collection was acquired over the years by A. Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor of Cleveland beginning in 1942. They loved the artist’s work and became close friends and patrons. In 1972 the Morse’ open a museum adjacent to their office building in Beachwood, Ohio. By the end of the decade with an overwhelming number of visitors, the Morses decided to again move their collection.

After a search that drew national attention, a marine warehouse in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida was rehabilitated and the museum opened on March 7, 1982.

In mid-2008, a new location for the Dali museum was announced. Designed by Yann Weymouth of the architectural firm HOK, it was built on the downtown waterfront next to the Mahaffey Theater. The new, larger and more storm-secure museum opened on January 11, 2011. Reportedly costing over $30 million, this structure features a large glass entryway and skylight made of 1.5 inch thick glass.

Referred to as the “Enigma”, the glass entryway is 75 feet tall and encompasses a spiral staircase. The remaining walls are composed of 18-inch thick concrete, designed to protect the collection from hurricanes.

With the exception of the Dalí Theater-Museum created by Dalí himself in his home town of Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, St. Petersburg’s Dalí Museum has the world’s largest collections of Dalí’s works.

So you see, we are not entirely yokels and old cranks.

The museum is well worth the visit, both for the art and the architecture.

For Dali fans, it is a must see!

So come to our beaches; visit our strip joints; watch the sun set over some cold ones – and spend a day viewing some of the most magnificent art this side of Spain.



“Dali DiscoveryOfAmerica”. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

“The Hallucinogenic Toreador” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

“The Ecumenical Council by Salvador Dali” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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8 Responses to The Dali

  1. beetleypete says:

    A nice cultural counterpoint to funfair rides and water parks. Who knew? (Not me, but then I have never been to the USA)
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. gpcox says:

    I have been wanting to get to the Dali, but I just can’t seem to get the other half interested.


  3. sojourner says:

    I was in Tampa Bay many years ago, long before this museum was built. It’s too bad, I love Dali.

    I was on the road with Guy Lombardo (a “ghost band”) at the time. Guy had died several years before. And I remember the Tampa Bay/St Pete area, because we played at a large dance hall in St Pete, I believe it was in St Pete?

    Anyway, years later, a movie came out entitled Cocoon. And as I watched, the couples were dancing in this same large hall I had performed in years earlier. It was a real Deja vu moment!



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