Salvador Dali Museum Opening in St. Petersburg, Florida, Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina of Spain to Attend
On the auspicious date of January 11, 2011 (1/11/11) at 11:11 AM, the new Salvador Dalí Museum will open in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a grand opening party to be attended by Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina of Spain as guest of honor.
St. Petersburg, Florida may seem like an unlikely home for Dali, but the Dali Museum actually originated there in 1982 after St. Petersburg offered financial support to collector and industrialist A Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor Reese to house their already substantial collection. Today, the museum contains more Dali masterworks than any other museum in the world and has the largest collection outside of Spain. The annual attendance is over 200,000 people per year, bringing an economic impact of an estimated $50 million to St. Petersburg.
The opening of the new, visually stunning $36 million building will double the current space of the Dali Museum to 66,450 square feet. Construction began in December 2008, and the attractive, innovative structure can reportedly withstand a category five hurricane. The roof is 12-inch thick solid concrete. The walls are 18 inches. All this is to protect the precious Dalis, of course, of which there will be 2,140, including 96 oil paintings.
The Dali Museum will be occupied throughout 2011 with a special exhibit called Viva la Revelacion!, displaying all paintings and highlighting other major works from the permanent collection to celebrate the new building. An Education Gallery will feature student exhibits and invite visitors of all ages to explore Dali's illusions and visual experiments.