Looking from the outside like a dream-logic breakfast castle with giant eggs topping the parapets, loaves of bread decorating the walls, and frightening statues nearby, the Dalí Theatre and Museum is not only the world’s largest single collection of the artist’s works but one of his great works in itself.
Opened in 1974, the museum was designed by Dalí himself who wanted the space to recreate the experience of entering one of his dreamlike works. To this end, many of the doorways are painted like giant, misshapen mouths and the halls of the gallery are filled with odd works by the artist. The corridors are filled with strange attractions such as a car full of plants and snails that rains inside (the secret is a semi-hidden coin slot that makes the water work), and a room with furniture designed to look like Mae West’s face when viewed at the right angle. Of course the museum is also home to many of Dalí’s most famous paintings.
The exterior of the building is easily as impressive as the interior with the strange site of massive eggs crowning the main outer wall and a large geodesic dome rising up beyond those. The wall itself is dotted with loaves of bread that look like irregular flagstones. On another side of the building, fantastical creatures preside over the buildings arches. a motif that is continued in the interior courtyard as well.
Very few artists live to see the sort of adoration that Dalí’s work received, and even fewer have the foresight to think about how it will be viewed by future generations, but the Dalí Theatre and Museum all but ensures that that artist’s iconoclastic works will have a home well into the future.
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