Set on its own peninsular on the west coast of Florida, St. Pete/Clearwater is home to a thriving arts and culture scene thanks to its impressive collection of world-class museums.
Showcasing a range of works, from classical American Westerns, to traditional oil paintings, glass sculptures and contemporary art by both internationally-acclaimed artists and emerging talent, there is something to suit all tastes.
To help those planning a trip to the museum mecca of Florida, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has handpicked their favourite spots to visit, highlighting the variety to be found in this lively spot of the US…
The latest addition to the museum scene, The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art transports visitors through the rich and diverse heritage of the American West. It has more than 400 works of art, evoking the spirit of endless plains, an open frontier and the beauty of nomadic living.
Highlights include statues and sculptures of Native American tribes alongside classical paintings and drawings depicting the “forty-niners” heading to California during the height of the Gold Rush. The collection includes works by emerging and established artists. The museum also hosts a variety of educational programmes to bring this historical era alive.
Scheduled for completion in autumn 2019, The Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement in Downtown St. Pete is a $90 million, 40,000 square foot, five-storey building, housing a collection of furniture, pottery, metalwork, lighting, photography and other decorative items from 19th century Arts and Crafts movement. The museum expects to attract 150,000 domestic and international visitors annually, with an on-site restaurant, children’s education centre and 100-seat auditorium.
One of the area’s biggest draw for art lovers, The Dali Museum offers an unparalleled collection of the famous Spaniard’s works and houses the largest collection of his art outside of Spain. Discover hundreds of Dali-inspired items in the permanent collection or visit one of the museum’s exhibitions – often dedicated to the surrealist.
From April 2019, the museum will be using cutting-edge AI technology to celebrate Dali’s legacy in a new “Dali Lives” experience, using a machine learning tool to resurrect an uncanny likeness to the mustached master. Visitors will be able to interact and engage with the lifelike Dali on a series of screens throughout the Museum, learning more about his larger-than-life personality and insights into his most famous works. The Museum has used authentic writings from Dali himself, archival footage and real-life interviews to create an unrivalled, fully immersive experience.
The Museum of Fine Arts is the largest and oldest museum in St. Pete and the only encyclopaedic museum in Florida. The museum explores human expression across different time periods and cultures, spanning 5,000 years and housing over 20,000 items, including include jewellery, pottery and sculptures. The museum houses both temporary and permanent exhibitions, with visitors returning time and time again for a dose of inspiration. Famous works include those by French Impressionist, Monet and American modernist, Georgia O’Keeffe.
The Chihuly Collection is a stunning permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique glass sculptures. A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Chihuly is credited with transforming the methods of creating glass art and influencing contemporary art, creating complex, multi-part glass sculptures, each of which is unique.
Owned by the Morean Arts Center, The Chihuly Collection has been designed to bring art and architecture together, with the entrance marked by an iconic 20-foot sculpture for a truly unique visitor experience. Highlights of this visually exciting collection include Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier and popular works such as Ikebana, Niijima Floats, Persians and Tumbleweeds.
It’s not just the indoors that hosts notable art pieces in St. Pete. Step outside and The St. Pete Urban Mural Tour takes visitors on an immersive guided tour of the alternative world of art, showcasing the vibrant and colourful street art that can be found throughout the neighbourhood.
With hundreds of murals to see, including the famous Twiggy and Frida Kahlo murals (below), this immersive tour is hosted by local artists and allows visitors to get up and personal with the bold, large-scale artworks giving life to the streets of downtown St. Pete.
St. Pete/Clearwater attracts more than 650,000 visitors from the UK and Ireland every year, drawn to the award-winning beaches and quirky neighbourhoods, along with the great variety of galleries and museums available to visit.
For more information, visit: https://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) is the official destination marketing organisation of Pinellas County in Florida and covers 26 municipalities in the area. The region is located on the peninsula on Florida’s west coast, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the east.
The area offers 35 miles of award-winning white-sandy beaches, exotic nature trails, culture and arts. It is home to independent restaurants, boutique shops and a unique craft beer trail running from Tarpon Springs to Treasure Island showcasing 41+ local breweries’ fresh artisanal beer. In 2018, Clearwater Beach was awarded the No. 1 spot in the USA in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards while St. Pete Beach came in at No. 7. Clearwater Beach was also voted No. 7 in the world!
Boasting the largest collection of Dali artwork outside of Spain in the Dali Museum, the county has a significant art scene, with walking mural tours, regular exhibitions and the impressive Chihuly Collection of hand-blown glass sculptures.
The destination is renowned for sunshine and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest run of sunshine days, a massive 768.