Dali17 Museum

Walking around Monterey I kept seeing ads with the famous Dali melting clocks advertising a Dali exhibit. While walking toward Old Fisherman’s Wharf, we were surprised to run into the museum. And not only was it a permanent exhibit, but it was a Museum dedicated to Dali’s works!

So you are telling me we are going to see some art?

Apparently during the 1940s the famous Spanish painter, Salvador Dali, actually lived in the Monterey area and this museum was created by a private collector to honor his time and connection to this area and explore the body of work. I had studied his work when I did my study abroad in Barcelona. I’m planning an upcoming trip to Barcelona, so I was inspired to check out the museum. The price was a little steep, but we were on vacation so we waved it off and decided to pay and check it out.

The museum was filled with etchings, lithographs, and tapestries with copies of some of his more famous works.

Known for his hidden detail, like the people turning the subject of the paintings heart

Hidden faces and eyes are another Dali feature

While this depicts a religious scene, it also has typical Dali characteristics, like the long spindly legs

Melting clocks, self portrait, definitely Dali

A tapestry depicting a famous painting

I had studied Dali in an art history class so I understood a lot of the symbolism going on in the paintings. But if you aren’t familiar with his work, it’s best to read up a bit on him before going to the museum. There isn’t a lot of explanation on his life and art in the museum, and some of it can leave you wondering.

As for bringing kids to the exhibit… If you are familiar with Dali you know that many of the symbolism in his work is sexual in nature. Most of the more graphic work was in a room with a warning, so we didn’t bring the kids in. Most of it would still have gone over their heads, but there was a lot of explicit male genitalia that they would have giggled at or asked awkward questions about. As for the rest of the exhibit most of it went over their heads since it was so obscure. I focused on having them look for some of the tricks Dali usually uses. Hidden faces, melting clocks, lips, etc. That keep them entertained for the most part. But they did get bored fairly quickly.

They behaved rather well, and humored me by looking for clocks and eyes in paintings, but it wasn’t their favorite part of the weekend

Was it nice to see Dali’s work and get inspired for Barcelona? Yes! Was the price we paid for all of us to go in worth it? That’s debatable… This is a stop for art lovers, Dali lovers, and families with children who are really patient and really into art. Mine are not. I always strive to be honest on this blog and while I debated writing this post, I thought it was important to discuss it so the next person knows. I always like to try new things with my kids. Some stick, some don’t, but there is a lot of fun in just exploring.

Dali17 Museum

  • Address: 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey CA
  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday & Saturday 10am – 6pm
  • Cost: $20 an adult, $16 for Seniors, Military, and Students with ID, $20 Children 6-17, Free for children 5 and under
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