Salvador Dali usually is a synonymous of Spain, but there’s a breath-taking museum also outside Europe, the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA). It opened its doors in 2011 to host sculptures, paintings, water-colours and sketches by the of Salvador Dali genius mind coming from the Moses collection.
The Salvador Dali Museum looks like it really materialised from Dali’s mind; the museum dedicated to the surrealist artist was designed by architect Yann Weymouth of HOK studio, and combines the rational with the fantastical. It is a fascinating project which is actually an expansion of the original museum built in 1982. Reaching well 6300 square meters, it’s spread over three floors to admire the works of the master. The building presents a fluid, organic glass body called “Enigma”, (it takes the name from a 1929 Dali work).
The architecture is inspired by Salvador Dali’s surrealist art, and does not forget the practical need to protect the buildings and the works of art that it contains: the design and the choice of materials were carefully selected to prevent damages caused by the frequent hurricanes that threaten Florida’s coasts.
In 1942, Reynolds and Eleanor Morse visited a traveling Dali retrospective at the Cleveland Museum of Art and were definitively struck by the artist’s work. On March 21, 1943, the Morses bought their first Dali painting, Daddy Longlegs of the Evening, Hope! (1940), the first of many more acquisitions over the 40 following years.
The art collection includes works from the artist’s entire career with over 2,100 works of different medium including 96 oil paintings, many original drawings, bookworks, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts and an extensive archive of documents. The Salvador Dali Museum was founded with the Morses collection plus significant additions to its over the years.