Thursday, December 16, 2010

St.Petersburg, Florida

We have now moved further north into Florida, the Tampa Bay- St.Petersburg area. We have had several days with temperatures in the mid 50s range so have not been out doing too much touring. I know, for some of you that would be balmy weather. The weather has forced me to stay inside and work on Christmas cookies as well as Christmas cards, which is not all that bad either. Traveling as we do, and now being in a warmer climate, makes it difficult to appreciate the sights and sounds of Christmas. Yesterday we drove into St.Petersburg with the main goal of seeing the Salvador Dali Museum. Some of the downtown skyline of the city can be seen below.
Dali was born in 1904 in Figueras, Spain. Many of his paintings have in their backgrounds scenes of  the small fishing village of Cadaques, which is located near his birthplace. Considering that Dali did most of his painting in Spain, America is most fortunate to be the home for most of Dali's collection.  Mr. Reynolds Morse and his wife, Americans, became close friends of the painter and over the years acquired most of his works.  Dating from 1914-80 the museum has a comprehensive collection of his paintings ranging from impressionistic works to gigantic surrealistic montages. The Spanish artist has been described by Morse as  the "true master of abstract". John and I were fortunate to get in on a guided tour of the museum. As we looked at his paintings the docent frequently encouraged us to "squint our eyes" and, in doing so, we were able to see abstract figures in the paintings, as a figure of a dog or the head of a troubadour. My favorite of Dali's paintings is one which depicts the hand of God reaching out to the crucified Christ. I sure came to a whole new appreciation of the works of Dali yesterday!  In January of 2011 his museum will have a new home in St.Petersburg. In the present museum there is not enough room to displays all of his collection and sculptures. We stopped to look at the new museum after we had toured the old one.
The new museum does seem to reflect Dali's spirit of abstractness!  Another popular tourist stop in St.Petersburg is The Pier. It extends 2,400 feet into Tampa Bay. The complex is a five-story inverted pyramidal structure which houses restaurants, specialty shops and an aquarium..

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