Last month I enjoyed a bit of respite from Maryland’s winter by visiting Florida. Finding myself within reasonable driving distance of St. Petersburg, I jumped at the chance to visit the Salvador Dali Museum.
Located on the waterfront in Barboro Harbor, it is the “largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Spain,” according to Peggy McKendry, the assistant to the director of the museum.
The museum, which opened in a renovated marine warehouse March 7, 1982, is the home of 2,140 pieces of Salvador Dali’s art, including 96 oil paintings and eight huge master works.
This collection began in Cleveland, OH, in 1942. Collecting Dali’s art was the lifelong passion of industrialist A. Reynolds Morse, and his wife Eleanor Reese Morse.
In recent years, I have visited art museums – from San Diego, Salt Lake City, Anchorage, Boston, Washington, and Baltimore – and I found the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg to be one of the friendliest exhibitions I have ever seen.
Everyone from Ms. McKendry, to the extremely knowledgeable docents, and even the museum guards went out of their way to make sure you knew that the museum was there to serve, entertain, and educate.
Such accessibility is critical if you are to have a meaningful experience exploring 20th century contemporary art – especially the work of Salvador Dali.
While I was doing some additional research on Dali, after I visited the museum, I had the great fortune to talk with Dan Twyman, the senior art consultant for the “Salvador Dali Society,” in Redondo Beach, CA, the owner of the website, www.salvadordaliexperts.com and a volunteer expert for the website http://www.allexperts.com/ in the fine art category.
Read the entire column here: Spellbound by Salvador Dali
Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at kevindayhoff AT gmail.com.
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