Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Museum Day!

Vacation always goes too fast!

I was lucky enough to spend a jam packed seven days in the Clearwater/ St. Pete and Tampa areas of Florida. One of the highlights, aside from spending quality time with my family, was a visit to the brand new Salvador Dali Museum followed by a visit to a permanent collection of Chihuly work.

Nana with her two oldest grandchildren, my brother and I, in front of Dali

Nana, and Papa when he was alive, would bring me to the old Dali museum down the street each vacation. As a kid, I was amazed to learn that Dali went to art school and I could appreciate that he would paint on whatever he could find, like burlap. As a college student, I found inspiration in his "master work" The Hallucinogenic Toreador.

I was very glad to see SO many people at the brand new museum. By the time we left the museum, there was a line to get in that went out the door! (And it was raining!)
The new building opened a year ago this month and is an incredible piece of architecture. You can see from the photos above, the glass windows that appear to be water flowing through the building, which is right on Tampa Bay. Inside, is a helix staircase that leads up to the third floor galleries.

Nana insisted on following the docent's tour, which I am not opposed to, but there were too many people for me. My brother and I hung back, and explored on our own. Since the museum has more space than the old location, there were more earlier works on display, and I loved being able to show him the influences of other artists, from the Impressionists to Picasso. My Mom still thinks Dali was kind of an insane genius, but I think my brother now has a different appreciation.

Now I had no idea that Chihuly picked St. Petersburg, Florida for a permanent collection of some of his work, but he did! The Collection as it is called, also opened a little over a year ago and like the Dali Museum, I was unable to take photos of the galleries. But that was probably a good thing, as I started my visit preoccupied thinking that my innocent Nana was going to touch something in her inquisitive excitement and break it. (The above picture was taken when I visited the MFA, but a smaller version was included in the St. Pete collection)
To my pleasant surprise, my brother got really into the art! In his defense, he took a few art courses in high school, and is a cabinet maker by trade, so I know he appreciates art, but I really enjoyed how he interacted with the works.

Despite the monsoon rain when we left Dali, and the large crowds, it was so nice to be able to share the experience of viewing art with my family. I know it made my Nana proud to tell the cashier at the Chihuly gift shop that I was an art teacher and that I will put my new Chihuly activity book to good use!

1 comment:

  1. Jealous! I've never been to the Dali Museum, old OR new. But I do use their resources when teaching surrealism, especially their free video "Get Surreal". And since I saw the Chihuly exhibit in Boston this summer, I'm a total fan. So I may be a wee bit jealous, but I'm also glad you had such a great artsy vacation! Welcome back to school...