The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Florida

“Nope… not seeing it.”, I said. “You have to stand farther away and squint your eyes more”, said the museum tour guide. We were in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, admiring one of Salvador Dali’s famous paintings, Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, completed in 1976. By just glancing at the painting during the tour, it appears to be just a woman staring out into a window. But when you do squint your eyes a little more and stand back a little further, it’s not just a woman. That’s when you realize you start seeing Abraham Lincoln and find yourself saying ohh and ahh along with everyone else.      

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida holds the world’s second largest collection of Salvador Dali’s work, only after the museum in Dali’s hometown, Figueres, Spain. The Spanish painter was born on May 11, 1904 and is known for being a surrealist painter and having a pointy moustache. One of his most famous paintings is titled “The Persistence of Memory” where clocks appear to be melting.

I’ve learned something new each time I’ve been… even after the fifth visit! One of my favorite paintings is The Basket of Bread, 1926. I really have no explanation of why I like it. It’s just really amazing.

This is the entrance with fountains and plants: 

The artwork in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida was collected by A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse.

The museum opened in 1982 but the collection was moved to a new building which was opened on January 11, 2011. Even if you aren’t a fan of Dali’s work, visit the Dali Museum just to see the building. It really is a work of art within itself.

Outside the building is a garden:

And this cool bench which looks like it came right out of one of Dali’s paintings:

Dali’s signature is on the outside of the building:

There is also a cafe in the museum named Cafe Gala, after Dali’s wife. They serve Spanish food including tapas. One of our visits included just vising the cafe to have coffee and biscottis.

And if you’ve ever had a Chupa Chup lollipop, I was surprised to learn that Salvador Dali was the graphic designer behind this candy! (And I had no idea that the lollipop is a Catalan candy.) Even though I wasn’t familiar with Dali’s work until I went to the museum, turns out I had been introduced to his work when in Venice, Italy almost 6 years ago, we stopped to buy some Chupa Chup lollipops.


Have you been to the Dali Museum or like Salvador Dali’s work? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Bethany Looi is a 16 year old high school student. Bethany enjoys playing golf, traveling and learning new languages. She is currently pursuing advanced level Spanish with a private tutor and a desire to be a top teen journalist. Currently she works as a VA and social media manager to several clients and is growing this business on the side. She has been to 14 countries and her favorite things to do in each country are shopping, eating and sightseeing.

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  1. Katherine Bland says

    Hi, yes I have been to the Dai. That was 25 yrs ago. Looks like the bldg has been enlarged. There were no gardens or cafe. It was just getting off the ground. The exhibit was small, but fascinating to see. Brings back memories for me.!