Florida Is The Home To Some Unexpected Museums

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.

floridatraveler dali museum

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.

floridatraveler dali bench

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.

floridatraveler  morse museum

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.

floridatraveler aurora window 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.

floridatraveler Carriage Museum

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.

The Grand Oaks Resort & Museum in Weirsdale, Fla., is known as "America's Equestrian Resort" complete with equine accommodations, equine events, RV and cottage lodging, an equine museum, gift shop and bistro.

The Grand Oaks Resort & Museum near Weirsdale, Fla., is known as “America’s Equestrian Resort” complete with equine accommodations, equine events, RV and cottage lodging, an equine museum, gift shop and bistro.

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About floridatraveler

Historian and travel writer M. C. Bob Leonard makes the Sunshine State his home base. Besides serving as content editor for several textbook publishers and as college professor, he moderates the FHIC at www.floridahistory.org
This entry was posted in art, attractions, Dali, Florida Food, florida history, museums, Tiffany. Bookmark the permalink.

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