The Dali Museum: A Museum Fit For A Genius - Art Urbane

by Kayla Fletcher

The Dali Museum: A Museum Fit For A Genius

“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” ― Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali is known as one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century. His creative work pushed the boundaries of Surrealism and forever changed the way the world sees fine art.

The public’s immense fascination with Dali is seen in the intricate designs and surrealist architecture of the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since the museum’s opening in January 2011, millions of Dali enthusiasts have walked through the 65,000 square-foot building that overlooks a glistening view of Tampa Bay. Although visitors are likely gathering at the museum to view the remarkable work of Dali, they also have the opportunity to admire the museum’s breathtaking architectural design. 










Photo credit: The Dali Museum

The unique architecture of the Salvador Dali Museum is a work of art in itself. A huge abstract glass structure flows throughout the building with a giant boulder from Spain, Dali’s homeland, appearing to support the corner of the building. The geodesic glass construction referred to as the Enigma, was inspired by Surrealist design and consists of 1,062 triangular glass panels.

The sunlight shining down on certain angles of the glass reflect the moving clouds and waves in the water, giving the museum a serene and dreamlike quality.

The architect of the Dali Museum, Yann Weymouth, describes the asymmetrical formation as… “a huge drop of water rolling from the rooftop and being frozen as it succumbs to gravity.”

Upon designing the Enigma, the architect envisioned a plan to show the influence of Surrealism by using inspiration from Dali and Buckminster Fuller’s work on Teatro Museo in Figueres, Spain. Weymouth used advanced computer algorithms for the architectural design that would allow him to break away from old symmetry restrictions to provide new possibilities. This cutting edge technology is so new that the Dali Museum’s architecture is the largest and most complex example of its utilization in the United States.

The innovative structure provides heavy protection from the elements with 18-inch-thick concrete walls designed to withstand 165 mph winds. Dali’s priceless artwork is located above the floodplain on the third floor and is built to withstand extreme weather with up to a Category 5 storm surge.


The waterfront museum features many famous Dali masterpieces and has the second largest collection of his work behind Spain. Art lovers around the world are invited to relish in an immersive Surrealist experience, from the captivating architectural design to Dali’s renowned artwork.

Kayla Fletcher
Kayla Fletcher


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