When the announcement came that the new Salvador Dali museum was completed and would be hosting a surreal benefit party, Suenos de Dali – the world of Dali’s dreams, to showcase their new home I had to make a trip to St.Petersburg.
St.Petersburg, FL has hosted the Dali museum since 1982, when the collection moved from Cleveland, OH, home of the donors Reynolds & Eleanor Morse. The new Dali museum alongside the St. Petersburg waterfront is double the size of its predecessor and allows for works to be on display in a space specifically designed for the collection. The museum itself is listed as “one of the top buildings you have to see before you die” in AOL Travel News.
Direct from the Dali:
The museum’s exterior is itself a work of art, featuring more than 900 triangular-shaped glass panels. This geodesic glass structure – nicknamed the “Glass Enigma” – is the only structure of its kind in North America and is a 21st century expression of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome as utilized in Dalí’s Teatro Museo in Figueres, Spain. No two glass panels are identical, providing a truly unique view of St. Petersburg’s picturesque waterfront. The Helical Staircase – a spiral that ascends to the third floor galleries – is the main architectural focus of the interior. An energetic form created with mathematical precision and resembling a strand of DNA, Dalí recognized the helix as evidence of the divine in nature.
Yann Weymouth, AIA, Senior Vice President and Design Director for HOK, conceived the museum’s architectural design. It was enlivened with a geodesic oculum by Novum Structures, which engineered and installed the free-form glass exterior.
The Suenos de Dali event was held on Saturday, January 22, 2011 throughout the architecturally stunning museum. Revelers entered “the world of Dali’s dreams” created by ornately costumed aerialists, stilt-walkers and other entertainers (as well as museum patrons), upbeat DJs, and fabulous hors d’ourves, including a hand-rolled sushi bar. Guests were welcomed and led up the Helical Staircase where they were greeted by an aerialist pouring champagne into abstract shaped flutes. The galleries were open and on view (amongst many others) were: Girl With Curls (1926), Basket of Bread (1926), Portrait of Gala (1932-33), Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra (1936), The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1952-1954), and Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln — Homage to Rothko (Second Version) (1976). Overall the evening provided a surreal escape for all the senses.
The museum is a must see for its collection and architecture, drawing over 200,000 visitors from around the world each year. Check it out yourself at:
One Dali Boulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Tel: (727) 823-3767 or 1-800-442-DALI (3254)