So I recently discovered one of Salvador Dalí’s most important collections is housed right here in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Sure, sure some “Miami-ans” might think the 4 hour drive is excessive to go look at some crazy paintings on a wall… but for those old-school folks, who still appreciate the first-hand experience of art, this is a true find. Given the limited nature of available art collections in South Florida (in comparison to major centers like New York, London, Paris…) this Dalí Museum brings to me a fresh sense of inspiration and hope right in my backyard- it reminds me there is still so much more to see, so much more to know.
HOW THE DALI CAME TO THE PENINSULA
Eleanor Morse, founder of the museum, first discovered the painter back in the 1940’s after visiting a traveling Dalí retrospective at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She and her husband became fascinated with the artist and began collecting his work. They met Salvador and Gala (his wife) in 1943 beginning a lifelong friendship that would eventually lead Mrs. Morse to translate many works by and about Dalí. Mrs. Morse would go on to receive numerous honors for her work such as the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques and the Lazo de Dama de la Orden de Isabel La Catolica (highest honor a non-Spanish citizen can attain from the Spanish King). March 7, 1982 Mrs. Morse and her husband found a permanent home for their collection in St. Petersburg, FL. Recently, the Museum has recognized the need for a larger, newer and more appropriate space to house the collection of the artist whose notorious work is now, more than ever, admired from all the corners of the world. The new museum is to be completed by January 11, 2011 (01.11.11 -I bet Dalí would have enjoyed that).