Salvador Dali with Dali Museum founders A. Reynolds & Eleanor Morse

Mission & History

Mission Statement
The Dalí Museum cares for and shares an expertly curated collection of Salvador Dalí’s work, preserving his legacy for generations to come. And, through Dalí-inspired events, exhibits and experiences, the Museum serves as an active resource in the cultural life of our community and the world at large.

The Artist’s Museum
Museum collections may be curated to showcase styles, media, historical timelines, themes or the life & work of an individual. Built to honor one (extraordinary) person’s vision, talent and life, The Dalí is one such Artist’s Museum. 

The Artist’s Museum is grounded in the art, archives and biographical complexity of a single creative individual. Holistic and immersive, each museum is unique in its relation to its artist, but is always an entry into the living breath of the creative process, a laboratory for examining history through an individual life and vision.  As such, the Artist’s Museum proposes a challenge and alternative to the usual history of art and the usual experience of the public, while generating enrichment and new understanding.

Dalí Museum History
The Dalí Museum celebrates the life and work of Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and features works from the artist’s entire career. The collection includes over 2,400 works from every moment and in every medium of his artistic activity, including oil paintings, many original drawings, book illustrations, artists’ books, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts and an extensive archive of documents. Founded with the works collected by A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the Museum has made significant additions to its collection over the years, celebrating the life and art of one of the most influential and innovative artists in history.

In 1942, the Morses visited a traveling Dalí retrospective at the Cleveland Museum of Art organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and became fascinated with the artist’s work. On March 21, 1943, the Morses bought their first Dalí painting, Daddy Longlegs of the Evening, Hope! (1940). This was the first of many acquisitions, which would culminate 40 years later in the preeminent collection of Dalí’s work in America. On April 13, 1943, the Morses met Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala in New York initiating a long, rich friendship.

The Morses first displayed their Dalí paintings in their home, and by the mid-1970s decided to donate their entire collection. A Wall Street Journal article titled, “U.S. Art World Dillydallies Over Dalí,” caught the attention of the St. Petersburg, FL community, who rallied to bring the collection to the area. The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, FL opened in 1982. The distinguished new building, which opened on January 11, 2011, enables the Museum to better protect and display the collection, to welcome the public, and to educate and promote enjoyment. In a larger sense it is a place of beauty dedicated, as is Dalí’s art, to understanding and transformation.