Planning a trip to downtown St. Petersburg, Florida?
Be sure to set aside a day to experience the museums and art galleries St. Pete proudly boasts. The Museum of Fine Art, overlooking South Straub Park, has been home to such exhibits as blown glass artist Dale Chihuly and a permanent collection of Monet and Renoir. Wander through its 20 galleries to either browse the permanent collections or take in the current exhibits, usually running for three to four months.
Head south down 3rd street to the Salvador Dali museum overlooking Bayboro Harbor. Allow a couple of hours to immerse yourself in the works of a visionary, or follow the docent guided tour to learn Dali’s use of symbolism and his works hidden meanings. You’ll find treasures like the Telephone Lobster sculpture as well as a painting believed to be Dali’s work at the tender age of six. Experience the double imagery that pervades Dali’s painting during his surreal period, probably his best known work. Filled with symbolism and dual images, you’ll come to more than one interpretation. The museum’s gift shop serves up a range of Dali’s prints and books to study at your leisure.
Spend a couple of hours in the Holocaust Museum, traveling back in time to relive the horror of the victims and the triumphs of the survivors. The Museum houses actual newspaper clips, propaganda and clothing worn by the Jews during one of history’s darkest hours. Stand in awe and sorrow in front of an authentic box car used to transport men, women and children to concentration camps. An upstairs gallery features exhibits changing throughout the year.
St. Petersburg is home to several art galleries showcasing local artists as well. You’ll find glass creations along with original paintings, sculpture and photography in various galleries dotted throughout the city. Shop for a one of a kind print to take home, or hone your taste for the abstract. Try the St. Petersburg Clay Company to view the largest working clay art studios and gallery in the Southeast US. Over 60 ceramic artists create pottery and sculpture on-site.
The city of St. Petersburg has plenty on tap to either whet your passion for art, or expand your current knowledge. Visit on the second Saturday of the month for Artwalk, when the local galleries open their doors late offering up artists and hors devours. Wander the sidewalks; meet the artists while sipping wine or nibbling cheese. You’re sure to satisfy your appetite, whatever it may be.
Photo of Saint Petersburg Dali Museum by Diana Reed