A few years ago my family had the opportunity to take a tour through Europe. We spent most of our time in Aniane, a small town in the south of France, but began our journey in Barcelona, Spain. After three wonderful days in Barcelona eating salami and enjoying the gorgeous architecture of Gaudi, we packed up our car and headed to Aniane. Less than a day’s drive away, we enjoyed the rugged hills in Catalonia and the many seaside towns. A destination, conveniently on our way, I was eager to see the Dali Theatre and Museum, built by Salvador Dali himself in his hometown Figueres, Catalonia.
The museum itself is known for being surrealistic like the artist and his artwork. The outside of the Dali Theatre and Museum is red and studded with gold and along the roof is a row of giant eggs. Dali wanted his museum to be one entity, a fantastical experience for the viewer to feel as if they were walking through a dream. The museum houses the most extensive collection of his life’s work, spanning more than 65 years. You can see his sculptures, paintings, furniture, jewelry and other creations along with other artists close to Dali. My favorite Dali piece, Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea is shown here. In fact, the Dali Theatre and Museum is the most fanciful museum I have ever visited, the building is full of sparkling domes, hanging sculptures, strange pieces poking out in unpredictable places. Dali was a master of grand images.
Dali himself is buried here, underneath the stage in the theatre. This museum is a better than Graceland for Dali enthusiasts. My family grew tired of the whole experience after two and half hours, but I was still consumed by his impressively large life’s work after four hours. If you enjoy his art in particular or enjoy studying art in detail be prepared to spend half a day or more trapped inside this madman’s head. There are rooms with optical illusions, like the Mae West Room, where if you look at furniture, made by Dali, from a specific point of view you can see Mae West’s face. I found his jewelry very lavish and beautiful. My favorite piece, Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea is in a large room with the largest piece of the museum, framed by stone arches. In a connected circular room, there are golden figurines dancing along the walls and if you look up you will see a ship floating near the glass geodesic dome roof cupola.
Admission to the Dali Theatre and Museum cost €14 with a reduced cost for members, students or groups larger than 25 people. With such an extensive viewing of his over 65 years as a painter, sculptor, jewelry designer and other forms of artistry, I am eager to make a second visit.