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From Spain to Florida: new Dali exhibit begins

By Tamara Lush

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 11 2012 12:15 p.m. MDT

That's the beauty of the museum and the exhibit: the visitor learns that Dali wasn't just a master of shocking images. He was a well-rounded, curious and prolific artist who constantly questioned everything — from religion to politics to his own memories.

The museum's permanent collection, in the wing across from the temporary exhibit, holds some of Dali's most important, and popular works. There are the dripping watches, the marching ants, the sodomized pianos.

Dali had no connection to St. Petersburg, and the museum's collection of 100 of his works ended up there almost by accident. The pieces were acquired by A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse of Ohio, much to the surprise of their staid Midwestern friends and family, beginning with their first Dali purchase in 1942, a painting titled "Daddy Longlegs of the Evening-Hope!"

The couple became so enamored of Dali and his style that they eventually befriended the artist and his wife, Gala. Later they started looking for a home for the collection. A. Reynolds Morse was willing to donate the works for free to any venue that would keep them together, and a St. Petersburg lawyer, Jim Martin, who read about the collection in a newspaper article, suggested St. Pete. The original museum was built in 1980.

If You Go...

SALVADOR DALI MUSEUM: "The Royal Inheritance: Dalí Works From the Spanish National Collection" will on display through March 31, 2013. One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, http://www.salvadordalimuseum.org, or 727-823-3767. Adults, $21.

Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tamaralush

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