The Dali Theatre Museum is one of the biggest attractions for art lovers in Spain. Visitors to Barcelona make it a point to plan a day trip to this museum, which is located about 143 km north of the city, in Figueres. Being one of the most visited art museums in the country, this iconic structure rightfully symbolizes the artistic vision of Spain’s top surrealist, Salvador Dali. Displaying the broadest range of masterpieces created by the eccentric innovator, the Dali Theatre Museums chronicles the best creations from Dali’s long and illustrious career. From the earliest sculptures, sketches and paintings, this art museum also exhibits some of Dali’s last creations.
History of the museum
In the 60s, Dali decided to use the ruins of the former theatre to create a magnificent work of art that housed the best of the surrealist world. Dali believed that worlds other than reality existed inside the mind and the museum was a tangible haven to address the quirky and surrealistic world of Dali. With his longtime friend Pitxot, Dali transformed the ruined structure of the theatre, dedicating over a decade in designing and collaborating the smallest details of the Dali Theatre Museum.
The Dali Theatre Museum was first opened in 1974. Built among the remains of the Figueres Theatre, the structure of the theatre museum itself is a tribute to the surrealist genius. Destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, the former theatre was transformed into a living homage for Dali.
Art displayed at the Dali Theatre Museum
Dali provided many artworks from his personal collection to be displayed in the museum and also created new masterpieces specifically for the museum. Some of Dali’s most popular works exhibited in the museum include Port Alguer, 1924; The Spectre of Sex Appeal, 1932; Galarina, 1944-45; Atomic Leda, 1949; and Galatea of the Sphere, 1952.
Dali also contributed several creations made for especially for the museum. The Rainy Cadillac, the Mae West Room and the Wind Palace Room are some of the more popular parts of the museum. Dali also wished to display works created by other artists. From his personal collection, Dali included impressive paintings by El Greco, Antoni Pitxot, Wolf Vostell, Maria Fortuny and Marcel Duchamp among others.
Experiencing Dali’s legacy
Until the end of his career and life, Dali continued working on what was possibly his grandest work. Considered the biggest surrealist object worldwide, the theatre was designed by the maestro himself. Interestingly, Dali is part of the Dali Theatre Museum as his grave is located at the heart of the museum.
Salvador Dali’s collection of paintings, sketches, drawings, engravings, photographs and sculptures numbered well over four thousand; 1,500 of which are currently displayed in the Dali Theatre Museum. The museum space is divided into three sections, with unique artworks exhibited in each section. The main theatre museum designed by Dali is a single object with several elements housed inside the structure. Each individual artwork displayed in the main theatre museum is part of the majestic structure.
Galleries located in the Torre Galatea section of the museum feature masterpieces of Dali and include new additions recently acquired by his foundation. The third gallery known as Dali – Jewels was inaugurated in 2001 and includes unique gold jewelry sets as well concept drawings and paintings made by Dali when designing them.
How to get there
From Barcelona, you can drive to Figueres with a tour guide or board the Renfe train. The Dali Theatre Museum is open in select seasons throughout the year, the period between July and September being the busiest. If you are traveling to Figueres for a day trip into the surreal world of Dali, you will be pleased by the affordable ticket prices. To access all parts of the museum, individual tickets are priced at €12 while concession tickets are sold at €9 per person. If you are travelling in groups larger than 25, you can make reservations and purchase tickets for just €8.