Vincent Van Gogh in Florida at the Dali Museum in St. Pete

Vincent Van Gogh goes to St. Pete

Susan and Terry
Published: February 17, 2021

Downtown St. Pete is known for its street murals as well as one world class cultural lure, the Dalí Museum. The impressive building sits right on the bayfront—a concrete and glass structure with an interesting geodesic feature called the Enigma, it’s a wonder of its own. 

The thing you hear repeated over and over about the museum is that it houses more works by Salvador Dalí than anyplace outside of his native Spain (over 2,400, including drawings, letters, paintings and more). And The Dalí is a definite temple to the surrealist painter’s masterpieces. But there are other reasons to spend a few indoor Florida hours here, too. 

Lately, The Dalí Museum is all about Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh, with the immersive multimedia exhibit “Van Gogh Alive” showing through April 11, 2021 – extended through June 13, 2021! – and included with regular museum admission (you need to reserve your time slot in advance online, in keeping with “these unprecedented times”). 

Vincent Van Gogh goes to Florida at The Dali in St. Pete

Van Gogh’s “Still Life with Apples,” larger than life.

We got to see “Van Gogh Alive” when it first opened, and can confirm it’s worth checking out. We were instantly sucked into the high-intensity laser projection show that brings his art works to life while presenting a timeline of the highs and lows of the tortured artist’s life. 

Expect to see some of Van Gogh’s more famous paintings as well as lesser known works, too, brought to life from floor to ceiling in the gallery space on the walls all around you. 

Interestingly, and probably because words are my thing, I found myself as fascinated by the artist’s paintings as quotes taken from his journals and letters that accompanied many of his artworks, lending deeper meaning to his life and genius. ~Terry

A few excerpts that were set to such iconic Van Gogh paintings as his sunflowers and “Starry Night” stood out, including:

“The way to know life is to love many things.”

“I dream of painting, and then I paint my dreams.”

“Someday death will take us to another star.”

Click here to listen to a sample of the soundtrack that accompanies “Van Gogh Alive.”

Not only was I swept away by Van Gogh’s works of art presented larger than life, but by the music that gives the exhibition another perspective through sound. From dramatic crescendos to light as air melodies, the classical score complements Van Gogh’s artwork beautifully. ~Susan 

The 40-minute exhibition passes in a flash, there was never a moment where my mind wandered off (full disclosure: I’m not much of a museum person, either). ~Terry

When you’re ready to digest what you’ve seen, head down the museum’s centerpiece helical staircase (it pays homage to the Dalí’s obsession with the DNA molecule’s double helical shape) to Café Gala, where strong espresso drinks and snacky Spanish favorites like gazpacho and Jamón Ibérico sandwiches are served in a pretty sun-splashed atrium. 

Before you leave, wander out to the Avant-garden to add a wish on the Wish Tree with the hopes of it coming true.

Stay up to date on changing travel conditions; please check with local and statewide authorities for the latest guidelines.

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