|1 Dali Blvd, St Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
|10AM–5:30PM 10AM–5:30PM 10AM–5:30PM 10AM–8PM 10AM–5:30PM 10AM–5:30PM 10AM–5:30PM
This museum is easily one worst museums I have ever been to, and it had nothing to do with the art. The whole experience has been commercialized. The entrance purposely routes you through a gift shop filled with over priced trinkets that have little to do with teaching and informing about the art. This came off as tacky, and distasteful. When I enter a museum, I dont want to be assaulted by a gift shop that looks like it belongs in Disney World. Dont get me wrong there is a time and place for gift shops, but in a museum? I guess it wouldnt be such a big deal to me if you werent forced to walk through it. Admission Rates Adults - $21 Military, Police, and Firefighters - $15 Children 13 to 18 and Students with ID - $15 Children 6 to 12 - $7 Children 5 and under - Free After 5pm on Thursday - $10 The Dillydally with Dali event that occurs daily consists of a room around 14 x 14 with a few little print outs that have activities for kids to do. I think there is typically a guide there to assist and try to help engage the kids in the activities, but my family and I arrived there around 2pm and there was absolutely nothing going on. We grabbed a few of the papers the museum left out for people to take, and moved on to the exhibit. I felt like such a fool for getting them excited about the fun stuff that I was led to believe would be taking place between 12:30 and 4pm. You could litterally see them deflate as the excitment left them. As you move into the main exhibit I found that most of the works are placed at eye level which is great! However, the larger works (lets face it, these are what most people enjoy looking at and are the main draw for the museum) are placed such that you can really only see the bottom 1/3 of the work. The ideal viewing angle would have the observer located so that you are closest to the largest amount of the painting. For the larger paintings this means elevating the observer to mid height. The lighting is placed above some of the larger works. This places a glare on the works that effectively makes the top impossible to truly see. The impressive amount of detail that there is in these works is lost on anyone who hasnt studied his works. Dali was know for the repetition, and intricacy in his works. I wanted to show my 3 kids this by pointing out how he would place the same image repetitively inside of a single work, but if these things werent at the bottom of the painting it was impossible for them to see through the glare from the lighting. For some strange reason the security guards there have a very serious problem with you putting your kids on your shoulders. I took my kids here wanting them to gain an appreciation for art. I wanted them to be as awe struck as I was when I first experienced Dalis works, and what I ended up with was 3 very bored kids that could never see or hear the guided tour we where a part of. Every time I tried to pick up my kids a guard was there tapping me on my shoulder telling me that I needed to put them down. My daughter started crying because she could not see anything the guide was talking about. Its like taking someone to a movie, charging them a premium, and then telling that person that they have to sit behind the tall guy and basically just listen to the sound without being able to watch what is on the screen. Dont take your kids here, find somewhere else to foster their love for art, they dont want your kids here. At least that is the impression they gave me, and they didnt mind at all that I was highly dissatisfied. Oh, well I guess that is what Google is for. You have been warned!
Having been to this *new* building a couple of times, Im wavering between 4 and 5 stars. As an artist myself, I enthusiastically appreciate re-viewing Dalis technique and stream-of-consciousness genius here. Ive always enjoyed pondering (& never understanding) his artwork. But, visiting this museum is expensive! Regular adult admission is $24, and thats AFTER paying $10 to park (plus our group was in 2 cars - ouch!). Childrens admission is discounted, senior citizens can save a couple of dollars, and college students get a $7 discount. Thursday evening after 5pm is only $10, which is a great value! In addition, the museum has an annual pass/membership ($60 for 1, $80 for 2), which would pay for itself within three visits. As they have special temporary exhibits, Ive considered becoming a member, but I do wonder if Id ACTUALLY visit enough to get my moneys worth... And if hubs could handle that much Dalí. On my most recent visit to see the limited-time Disney & Dalí exhibit last Saturday, we arrived a little after 2:30pm, less than 3 hours before closing, and were surprised to find a line just to get into the parking lot. The attendant was incredibly helpful in pointing me to the employee lot for the only available handicapped spot. At the front entrance, we found a line that stretched outside, however the wait was less than 10 minutes (I noticed a separate door for members to avoid the roped-off queue). Even though Id visited previously (during the Warhol exhibit in early 2014), I didnt realize the audio guides & headsets were free to use. Maybe I missed the sign & didnt read the brochure, but wed made it all the way upstairs & entered the special exhibit space where we noticed how quiet it was - because everyone was using the audio guides. Luckily, only one of us needed to go back downstairs. And these proved invaluable for enjoying the Disney & Dalí exhibit! Bonus: Sigourney Weaver narrates for D&D. This exhibit was much larger than I expected, with so much information & many interesting pieces, including a small, dark area looping the animated Destino. And the audio guide narration was very detailed. I thoroughly enjoyed this special exhibit! The massive gift shop on the first floor encompasses most of the public area. In the back, the cafe area is way too small - always a line, and not enough seating. Because the queue & the tables are packed into the space, it can be difficult to get through to the door to the patio, garden & maze. Not a good layout. Outside, I noticed a wine & beer table, with no line. As I was with my mother on this visit, I didnt get close enough to check selection or prices, but I might assume the lack of a line was a clue. On the patio, the giant Dalí mustache makes for fun pictures. Over in the garden is a tree where visitors can tie their Dalí admission wristband & make a wish. The maze next to the tree is a fun & quick adventure... Watch out for kids playing hide & go seek. Note: this area is gravelly and not wheelchair friendly. I considered getting out my crutches, but Im not sure they would have been safe on that surface either. Of course Ill return to the Dalí Museum, because I love his work, but I hoping to catch a Groupon or Living Social deal before the next exhibit begins that I want to see.
A Private User
We have been patrons of the old museum across the bay and preferred the interior of that building much more so than the interior of the new building. We visited the new museum this week. People were climbing over each other to view paintings which were hung so close together. Lighting was a problem so details were missing. And NO ONE could stand at the recommended meters away from the Lincoln painting to view the masterpiece as a whole without butting heads with people in front of us. It was awful! We were so disappointed with the viewing areas. We took the audio tour which was wonderfully narrated but by the time we would catch up to a painting to relate the narration to the painting people wouldnt move on as they were also enjoying the moment. I was shocked at how poorly designed the traffic flowed in the museum overall. Even if you could find your way around using the obscure audio numbering system, we had to miss many paintings because just getting to the artwork took up precious time due to people moving in all directions from being confused. On the very good side...the public areas are very nice. The views are spectacular. The grounds are very nice although the iconic bench/clock outside could use some TLC and looked very tired. Gift store was very nice but I noticed a price increase over the prices that were in the old museum. Ive purchased a number of posters and framed art and glad I did when the prices were much lower. I think this museum is a gift to our area. I feel so blessed to have these works of art in our vicinity. I think the museum needs to be revamped for better traffic flow. I think the lower floors that they use for special displays needs to house some of the work from upstairs but the idea was to move the artwork above first level away from possible flooding. I think that they need to look at the old museum and see what it was about how the paintings were displayed that made it so special. I think the lighting needs to be redone. I think there needs to be programs offered and prices lowered on special holidays. We had a coupon for $2 off and still it was $54 to get in. We will return as we love the artwork but probably not as frequently as before or we will try for less crowded days since the museum was not designed comfortably for crowds.