The biggest collectors of Dalí where Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, who founded the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg – the one in Florida, not the original one. My Spanish V class went on a field trip to visit it.
This year in Spanish V we studied early 20th Century Peninsular literature and culture. It was an exciting course: we started with late 19th C. Naturalism, reading Emila Pardo Bazán’s short stories, and moved on to Miguel de Unamuno’s San Manuel Bueno, mártir, a proto existentialist text. (To read more about Unamuno and Existentialism see my previous post about Existentialism and the Quijote), we saw Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou, while studying and reading about Surrealism. We read Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetry and talked about the Second Spanish Republic and how that led to the Spanish Civil War.
Our visit to St. Petersburg was fun. We took a van for the two hour drive North (with the obligatory stop at Starbucks to start the road trip). Once there, the Museum had our visit very well prepared. We explored the galleries and the students each presented on a work they had studied and talked a bit about Dalí. Outside the museum we walked around the gardens and labyrinth. From there we went a couple of blocks to hip, thriving, Central Ave in Downtown St. Pete, where the students ordered their lunch – in Spanish – at Red Mesa Mercado, a street side taquería. While the students enjoyed some free time to explore the area, I enjoyed a nice coffee, then we drove back to Seacrest.
The trip was a cultural and pedagogical success, we all learned about Dalí and discovered a little bit of wonderful St. Petersburg – the one in Florida, not the original one.