Dali Museum Florida and its Tree of Wishes: Photo essay

I also have this Dali Museum Florida post under “Inspiration” category of my travel blog, as this is one of my many (successful!) attempts at enjoying local tourism and dealing with my life after travel. Hope it makes for a good Travel Bucket List Wednesday photo essay as well! 🙂

Salvador Dali Museum Florida: Finally crossed off!

For years on my travel bucket list, it wasn’t until February of this year that I finally visited the Dali Museum Florida. Located in beautiful St. Petersburg, the “American” tribute to the famous surrealist artist was founded in (year), but was recently remodeled, expanded to more than twice its original size and reopened in 2011:

Old Dali Museum Florida

Dali Museum, FL before remodel (2010 Jinjian Liang, Flickr)

Interesting fact: Did you know Salvador DalĂ­’s full name is Salvador Domènec Felipe Jacinto DalĂ­ i Domènech, Marquis de PĂşbol!? *catches breath* Whoa!

New Salvador Dali museum Florida at night

“The new Salvador Dali museum is the permanent home of the world’s most comprehensive collection of the renowned Spanish artist’s work” (Ron Ciervo, Flickr)

The Salvador Dali Museum Florida is only one of 5 Dalí museums worldwide, which include the Dalí Theatre and Museum (Figueres, Catalonia), Dalí Universe (London), Espace Dalí (Paris), and a permanent Dalí exhibition in Berlin.

It is impossible to see all the works in one day, obviously.

As “the world’s most comprehensive collection” of the eccentric artist (see caption of image above by Ron Ciervo), the Salvador DalĂ­ museum in Florida has over 1,500 works. Thus, my first visit simply included a very informational scheduled tour to get a gist of all the exhibitions. While I’m usually against group tours, our guide was incredibly knowledgeable. Not only did we enjoy learning about how each of the works presented came to life (i.e. painting techniques used, how it was commissioned, etc.)–but we were also graced with additional information about the personal life and emotional background of each painting. I learned so much about Salvador DalĂ­–and came to fall in love with my favorite eccentric artist of all time all over again.

My favorite parts

I loved learning about his love affair with Gala DalĂ­. I was not aware that Gala left her husband (and her kid!) to stay with DalĂ­ in Paris. In turn, DalĂ­ made her famous, became his muse and one of the most painted models of the time. How did she repay him? Stayed with him all the way through his (alleged?) dementia and until the day she died. It’s funny, though, that the guide didn’t mention the several extramarital affairs Gala, and even DalĂ­, had. Apparently, DalĂ­ practiced candaulism. Still, I’m not gonna lie–this eccentric love story, albeit sinful, captivated me…

Dali Museum Florida, Gala Lincoln painting

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea: A panting whose name–and reflection at a distance of about 20 meters–tells a bigger story (dasoaz, Flickr). Dali Museum Florida now houses the original piece.

Funny enough, my other favorite part of my day at the Salvador Dali Museum Florida was the “Tree of Wishes” or Wish Tree.

Dali Museum Florida Wish Tree

My man (in purple) and the Tree of Wishes at the Dali Museum Florida


It is tradition to take off your museum admission bracelet once you are done with your visit, take it to the “Tree of Wishes” in the backyard, write a wish on it, and tie it to a branch of the Tree–then, believe it’ll come true! The kid in me was very excited 😀

Dali museum Florida building and wish tree

Wishes from all over the world, hanging by a tree

Our wish at Dali Museum Florida

Our wish <3

All in all, an enjoyable day of local tourism (Florida)

I’ll have to repay a visit and perhaps even take a scheduled tour with a different guide–I’m sure the experience will be totally different. It’s refreshing when one sees the attractions close to our current base as exciting as any other outsider does!

Dali Museum Florida, building

Dali Museum bench and part of the bldg. (Matthew Paulson, Flickr)

Have you been to a DalĂ­ museum? What’s on your travel bucket list?

10 thoughts on “Dali Museum Florida and its Tree of Wishes: Photo essay

  1. I did some research there when I was doing graduate work in Costume Design. The couple who started the museum were major collectors of Dali’s, so knew him personally and had lots of stories to tell about each work of art. You might actually get more information about Dali’s work here than in the one in Spain, simply because Dali would not be one to spend a lot of time explaining his work. These collectors gleaned their information over years of contact with him.

    Thanks for posting this.

    • I agree Joy. Our tour guide mentioned this and my post was too long to keep adding on. Thanks for the comment! It is, indeed, one of my favorite museums in the world. Invaluable (first-hand!) insight, rare in many museums

  2. Have never been to this museum, or Florida. Maybe if I ever go back to North America for a long visit I’ll visit. However, I do love Dali and saw some of his works when I was in Madrid. Interesting to find out more about him and his life. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Like you, Maria, I love eccentric love stories! I’m also a Dali fan, not sure how I haven’t been to the museum yet. Okay, putting it on my ever expanding list of things to see!

    • If you are intrigued by the architecture, more intrigued you’ll be after seeing more of DalĂ­’s work or learning more about his life! I recommend a visit 😀

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