Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hello, Dali

Magnet # 438:  New Dali Grand Opening Photo

Material:  Plastic

Purchased By:  Me

Once again, posting a magnet up here is a bit easier than usual, as this one is dated.  And unlike some other dated magnets, I'm actually using this one on the exact date that's printed on it.  I must admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for pulling that off.  So, yes, the new Salvador Dali Museum opens today in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The festivities will begin with a parade that runs the route from the old Dali Museum to its current location, a mere eight blocks north at One Dali Boulevard.  And at 11:11 in the morning, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Dali, with Spanish royalty in attendance.  While these events and other outdoor festivities will be open to the general public, they won't be able to enter the updated facilities until tomorrow.  Today's grand opening event is open to a limited crowd who've already bought their time stamped tickets.  However, members of the museum's elite groups have already had the opportunity to check out the new building.  On Sunday, it hosted a special event that included entertainment, family activities, crafts, and a talk given by actress Susan Sarandon.  And for anyone missing out on the current events, there's plenty more going on through the rest of the month.  The Florida Orchestra will be on hand from the fourteenth through the sixteenth to serenade visitors and family-oriented events will likewise be held.  Also, there's one particularly impressive party that will be held on January 22, Los Suenos de Dali.  This evening affair will feature attendees in surrealistic attire, unusual entertainers, and a variety of gourmet foods and alcohol, with tickets available for 111 dollars.  I suppose that's inspired by today's grand opening date.

I've mentioned on here before that the St. Petersburg Dali Museum primarily consists of the collection of the Morses, an American couple who became intrigued with the artist's work, so much so that they became longtime friends, companions, and patrons of his.  For decades, they stored all of his work that they'd obtained at their home in Cleveland, Ohio until they relocated the collection at a smaller museum in nearby Beachwood.  But even that didn't work and the couple began a national search to find the right home for their art.  And St. Petersburg won out with its eager community and their offer to present the collection in a converted marine warehouse.  It opened on March 10 of 1982 and featured the largest collection of Dali art outside of Europe.  I visited the museum last year with a couple of friends and I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed by its exterior.  For an artist as off the wall as Dali, it was surprisingly dull and could have even served as an office building.  The only hint I noticed to suggest the artist was his signature in letters along a wall.  So when I learned that they were getting new digs and actually saw them on this magnet, I was pleased.  An innovator like Dali almost demands a space that's as unusual as the work he left behind.  He certainly has one in his home town of Figueres, in the Catalonia region of Spain - it's a red structure that almost resembles a castle or a fort covered with details and it's lined with eggs on the rooftop.  It's been around since 1974 and Dali himself is actually buried in its crypt, although it's not certain that was actually his wish.  But now, the people of St. Petersburg have a structure which is twice the size of its predecessor and should really measure up against that of Figueres.  I'm looking forward to experiencing it firsthand sometime.  When I was at the former location, they were offering admission to today's event with a donation.  And while I didn't take them up on it, as I knew it was unlikely I could make it down there, I'm glad I could support them with this magnet.  Here's to the folks behind the Salvador Dali Museum and their bold move to a bigger, better location - the man himself would be proud!


  1. Even though I'm not much of a Dali follower, your description of the museum does pique my interest. Perhaps a trip to St. Petersburg, FL is in the not too distant future.

  2. Hope it gives you a new appreciation of Dali!