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Thursday, February 3, 2011

~~~ A Day with Salvadore Dali ~~~

Yesterday I met up with my sister-in-law, Kathy and our friend Helen early in the morning… Our day was planned to go to the Salvador Dali Museum and have lunch at Bella Brava Italian Restaurant. I hadn’t been down to the St. Pete locations for a couple of years because we were traveling. What a surprise for me when I saw the museum and new Mahaffey Theater next door. They were gorgeous!

Salvador Dali was a monumental pioneer of twentieth-century art and this is perhaps the best collection of his work in the world. His art has so many hidden objects in them. He was definitely a little strange but his work is phenomenal.

Located on the scenic waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, this 68,000-square-foot structure showcases exhibits which include oils, watercolors, sketches, sculptures and other works from a 2,140-piece permanent collection. The building stands more than 75 feet tall and is adorned by 1,062 unique, triangular glass panels. A 58-foot-high building with thick concrete walls protects the art. This unfinished concrete box is disrupted by a flowing triangulated glass “Enigma” (also the name of a 1929 Dali painting) that opens the museum to the bay and sky while forming an atrium roof that draws in natural daylight. The building protects this priceless art collection from hurricane-force winds and water. The fortress-like structure is designed to withstand the 165-mph wind loads of a Category 5 hurricane. The roof is 12-inch thick, solid concrete and the cast-in-place reinforced concrete walls are 18 inches thick. Located above the flood plane on the third floor, the art is protected from a 30-foot-high hurricane storm surge. Storm doors shield the vault and galleries. Specially developed for this project, the triangulated glass panels are one-and-a-half inches thick, insulated and laminated, and were tested to resist the 135 mph winds, driven rain and missile impacts of a Category 3 hurricane. In the exhibition galleries on the third floor, seven unique suspended black plaster “light cannons” funnel daylight onto the largest of the Dali masterworks

A soaring, concrete spiral staircase goes from the ground-level entrance up to the third-floor galleries & 75-foot-high glass atrium. The spiral flows from its base with light cable-stayed stainless steel guardrails. The helical stairway design is an allusion to Dali’s fascination with spiral forms in nature and the double helix of DNA.

This very modern museum houses the world's most comprehensive and most valuable ($125 million dollars) collection of works by the renowned Spanish surrealist and for art lovers is reason enough to visit downtown St. Petersburg. Housing six of the artist's masterworks, it is the highest-ranked museum in the entire South. It includes oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and more than 1,000 graphics, plus posters, photos, sculptures, and a 5,000-volume library on Dali and surrealism.

After wandering around the museum for about 3 hours we were off to lunch at Bella Bravas. Another place I hadn’t been to and what a pleasant surprise… Great atmosphere, friendly service and fantastic food… I had the Ala Norma Panini (roasted eggplant, red peppers, basil, goat cheese, ricotta and a sundried tomato pesto) with homemade potato chips and a Bella Brava Wedge (creamy gorgonzola dressing, Apple wood smoked bacon, red onion, hardboiled egg, and crumbled gorgonzola).
You can never have enough cheese!!! ☺

GREAT day, GREAT food & GREAT fun with friends!

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Thanks for the revisit-we really enjoyed the museum.

Rick said...

Not being a connoisseur of art, I have to say I liked the 'spiral staircases' a lot better than some of Dali's weird looking paintings!

Thanks for the great tour and history lesson though as it was very interesting - for a inartistic boor like me!

K and D in the RV said...

Oh Donna! I wish I was with you for that! Awesome! Thank you for that little taste of the Dali Museum - it is on the bucket list for sure!

Sue and Doug said...

Say cheese!!!..thanks for the great tour and the delicious lunch!..we enjoyed the 'backseat ride' once again..the artwork was a bit strange but the architecture of the museum was amazing!
Where are we going tomorrow!???

Proud Italian Cook said...

How cool is that! I want to go there now Donna!

Carole Burant said...

Wow that truly is an awesome art museum and it's no wonder it's so reinforced...priceless Dali works of art are irreplaceable!! I so loved looking at all your pictures and seeing the outside and inside of the building. I would have enjoyed a day there as well:-) And look at that yummy food you had. Now I'm hungry! lol xoxo

auntpearl said...

Sounds like a wonderful day. I love admiring Dali's work....Can't say I would hang any in my home but his style is so fun.
Thanks for sharing.
Take care.

The Muse said...

having seen his work in real life, one would think oh why bother to view a blog about this? well...
A> it is a blog of my friend (SMILE)
B> he intrigues me.

not my selective choice, but art is that which is created by a soul that feels compelled to create. therefore i pay respect to a man who was nothing short of driven !

colorful mayhem :) !!! :)

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Wow! What a wonderful place to visit! Your photos are fabulous. laurie

SunshinecruiserTN said...

I love some of Dali's work. Pictures are terrific! Love the sunsets.

Get your mamogram & check up today... Early detection saved my life....


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