I pass by The Dali Museum fairly often as I live in central Florida. It’s yet another place that I’d been planning to visit forever but didn’t get around to it. However, at the moment they have a Van Gogh Alive Exhibition (May 2021) and that was the push I needed to get online and make a reservation.

The building itself is impressive, there’s plenty of interesting architecture to take in while waiting to enter.

The Dali Museum

At the moment you need a reservation for a particular time, our tickets were for 7 pm. As we entered I asked a museum employee what they advised we didn’t miss, and he said to be sure to get to the Van Gough exhibit relatively quickly. It’s a temporary exhibit and we can always go back and spend more time looking at the permanent exhibits. To be honest I didn’t think that would be an issue as we had two full hours until closing time. Never doubt the people who work there!  Lesson happily learned. We took his advice and were glad we did.

The Van Gogh exhibit is amazing. They cast his artwork and quotes to take up entire walls and pieces of the floor. You’re not just viewing his art, you are walking through it and truly experiencing it. The experience is not just visual, specially curated music enhances the experience. The exhibit goes through June 13, 2021, and when I checked they still had plenty of tickets. They will sell out though, so if you want to go, go!

Van Gogh at Dali
Van Gogh at the Dali Museum

The main museum did not disappoint. I was not overly familiar with Dali’s art, I’ve seen his most popular works and heard stories of his outrageous behavior but I hadn’t looked any deeper into his works. I had it in my mind that all of his work would be completely over the top, after all, he is THE surrealist artist. And a lot of it is, they are the kind of paintings that you really can just sit and look at and contemplate what exactly he may have been trying to convey. I could honestly have spent hours there and will be going back.

However, the museum has paintings and other art displaying different periods that he went through, and it’s fascinating to see the progression of his work. It’s almost like seeing work by different artists, but you can kind of feel the link through everything. They have a guided audio tour, we didn’t take advantage of it because we wanted to be sure to have plenty of time for the Van Gogh exhibit. Next time I go I’ll be sure to take the audio tour.

The piece that stood out most to me was ‘Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln-Homage to Rothko (Second Version)’ which is a huge painting that is Lincoln if you’re standing far away, but altogether different if you are standing close up. The title is quite a mouthful, but it is incredibly apt. A gentleman who was working at the museum said Dali used binoculars to create it. I have no idea if that is true or not, but it’s a great story either way. I am for sure bringing binoculars next time I go to see if it would work.

Lincoln painting

If you get the opportunity to visit the Dali Museum definitely go, whether you get to see the Van Gogh exhibit or catch the next great exhibit they choose to show us. On your way out don’t forget to browse the museum’s store, it has everything from socks to art supplies. The shop was the one part that was pretty busy when I was there, so I just did a quick pass by. the little I saw made me was enough to see I could easily be tempted to buy too much good stuff if I had gone in.

Here’s what you need to know to play tourist:

One  Dali Blvd,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 823-3767

The Dali