Destination St. Pete: Rare Picasso exhibit at The Dali

If there is any doubt that the Tampa Bay Area has arrived as an arts destination, look no further than the current exhibition at St. Petersburg’s Dali Museum.

“Picasso and the Allure of the South” is a mind-bending presentation of 79 paintings, drawings and collages, about half of which have never been shown in the U.S.

That the Dali is the only venue worldwide to mount this exhibition, which was 
“Picasso and the Allure of the South” is on view through May 22, 2022 at the Dali Museum, One Dali Boulevard, St. Petersburg 33701. Advanced online tickets are required and available for purchase at
curated by Dr. William Jeffett, the Dali’s chief curator, makes this occasion even more noteworthy.

“I don’t know about Miami, but I don’t think Florida has had such loans of major paintings and drawings of this caliber. It’s very rich,” says Jeffett.

The works, dating from 1909 to 1972,  come from the Musee Nationale Picasso in Paris and the Leonard Lauder Cubist Collection in New York.

“It was helped thanks to a partnership with the Picasso Museum in Paris,” he says. “They were quite generous.”

“There is a lot of demand for these works. Some are more than one hundred years old.”

Jeffett highlights the fact that Picasso and Dali shared similar origins near the Spanish and French border.

“Picasso spoke Catalan and lived a long time in Barcelona. Dali was born not far away,” he adds. 

The exhibition includes photos of the border towns where Picasso lived.

The focus on these regions is unusual in museum exhibitions. “We didn’t want to repeat things that others have done,” Jeffett says.

Do not miss the specially prepared computerized experience prepared for this exhibition. You sit on a bench and a computer will take your picture. Then it will isolate your image from the background and rearrange that image according to Picasso’s Cubism as seen here in his drawings, paintings and collages.

As the Dali Museum promotes: By becoming part of the art, you can understand it better.

For more information on the exhibit, museum hours and ticket prices, visit The Dali online.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Joanne Milani.

Joanne Milani is a Tampa-based freelance writer and former art and theater critic for The Tampa Tribune. After leaving the Tribune, she served as the executive director of Tampa’s Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and remains a member of the International Art Critics Association (AICA). She graduated from Vassar and worked in New York museums before moving to Tampa.