St. Petersburg, Florida, has long been known as God’s waiting room because of its abundance of retirees. But the city’s sleepy reputation will get a boost on January 11, when the Salvador Dali Museum opens in a dramatic new building designed by Yann Weymouth, the powerhouse architect who helped create the glass pyramid at the Louvre. Founded in 1982 by collectors and close Dalí friends A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the museum was previously located on a harbor that the couple believed was reminiscent of Dalí’s childhood home in Spain. The expanded venue, a few blocks away, has 66,000 square feet of gallery space and a glass-enclosed staircase, shaped like one of Dalí’s warped clocks, that wraps around the facade. Director Hank Hine says the museum’s goal, apart from displaying works from its 2,100-piece collection, is to shed light on a pioneering but frequently misunderstood artist. “We want people to look at this work away from the shadow of his persona, which was so strong,” he says.
Photo: Eric Kreher, Beck