When people think of Florida attractions, they think of amusement parks, alligator farms, aquariums, and the local history and art museums. Yet Florida has dozens of lesser known museums, some of them quite unexpected.
Downtown Saint Petersburg is the home of the Dali Museum, the largest collection of works by the wild Spanish surrealist artists outside of Dali’s hometown personal gallery. Even Dali would be excited to discover this collection is housed in a new building and surrounding gardens that are as bizarre and even shocking as the inside art work.
The Dali Museum resembles a box of exploding Jello
When A. Reynolds and Eleanor R. Morse of Cleveland started collecting Dali art, they could not imagine they would have 7 of the 18 “masterwork” Dali works in their house. They had to go to Florida to find a place for 96 oil paintings, 100 watercolors, and 1,300 other Dali creations.
The Dali Garden Maze Offers Benches (sic) For Fans
Winter Park is the home of the Morse Museum, home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of jewelry, art glass, leaded-glass lamps, and windows by the amazing Louis Comfort Tiffany. When Tiffany’s Long Island country mansion Laurelton Hall burnt to the ground in 1957, Hugh and Jeanette McKean rescued most of the windows and art. The works are here.
The Morse Museum Is Winter Park’s Treasure
In 1893 Tiffany created a chapel interior for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The interior setting was reassembled here in the Morse.
The Beautiful Aurora Window by Tiffany
Ocala, Florida, north of Orlando, is Florida horse country and lots of equestrians go to the Grand Oaks Resort in nearby Lady Lake for dressage events and other horse shows. It is also a place where you can take a ride in a vintage carriage along the hilly roadways of Marion County for Grand Oaks is the home for one of the world’s largest private collections of carriages and equine artifacts.
Grand Oaks Is Not Just About American Carriages
There are over 160 European and American carriages ready to be hitched to horses for this is after all a true equestrian resort. The 1850 Armbruster Dress Chariot was once the love of Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria.