Future Home of Dali 1-11-2010

I was fortunate to attend the Countdown Ceremony for the new Dali Museum in downtown St Petersburg, Florida this last Monday.  Despite the fact that St Petersburg was in the midst of our coldest weather since the early 1980’s (temperatures in the 40’s-50’s), it was a beautiful, clear, sunny day perfect for the indoor/outdoor celebration. The new Dali Museum is scheduled to open exactly in one year on January 11, 2011 or 1/1/11.

Truly interesting speeches were given by many distinguished guests including Dr. Hank Hines, the Director of the museum; Bill Foster, the Mayor of St Petersburg; Dr. Karen Brown Dunlop, President of Poynter Institute; Darren Brinkley, founder & President of REAL Building; and Dr Margaret Sullivan, Regional Chancellor of USF St Petersburg. Having Brad Morse, son of A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse (founders of the museum), share his stories of growing up with Dali’s paintings hanging above his bed was especially amusing to all of us in attendance. The speeches will soon be available on the Dali Museum website. Rarely do I want to revisit speeches given at these types of events but I do look forward to reading these.

 

 
 
 

view from Mahaffey Theater luncheon 1-11-2010

 

In addition to the speeches, the Tarpon Springs High School Jazz Ensemble played while we enjoyed a catered luncheon and the gorgeous view of the St Petersburg waterfront. There was also a fashion show by Ivanka Ska inspired by the art of Dali. After the fashion show, Mayor Bill Foster and Dr. Hank Hine unveiled and started the Giant Egg Timer which will supposedly run out of sand on the opening day of the new museum. Eggs were a recurring theme in many of Dali’s works.  

 
 
 
 

Dali Fashion & Giant Egg Timer 1-11-2010

The ceremonies were held inside & in the courtyard of the Mahaffey Theater which is located along the waterfront just minutes from the pier in St Petersburg. The new Dali Museum is being constructed next door to the Mahaffey Theater and also overlooks Tampa Bay.  The largest collection of Dali’s work, outside of his home country, will soon be housed in this 66,450 sq ft building which will be “combination of classical and the fantastic”, according to the press materials. There are large egg-like glass spheres attached to the classical concrete “treasure box” building with a boulder from Dali’s homeland appearing to support a corner of the building. I can’t wait to see, what I consider will be the jewel of the interior, the staircase. It will resemble a strand of DNA, which is another one of Dali’s recurring themes. When I visited the current museum approximately 15 years ago I purchased several Dali designed DNA bracelets. People are still fascinated by them. I imagine the staircase to be of similar design and fascination. This unique building was designed by internationally acclaimed architect Yann Weymouth of HOK. He worked with architect I.M. Pei on the renovation of the Louvre in Paris.

Giant Egg Timer 1-1-2010

The current museum opened its doors in 1982 and is the Michelin Guide’s only three star rated museum on Florida’s west coast. Just imagine what the new museum will be rated! 

 To see other photos taken that day and more photos of St. Petersburg, please feel to visit my Facebook page. As the construction of the new Dali Museum progresses, I will continue to add more pictures.

Downtown St Pete from the water

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