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.