In the small Catalan town of Figueres lies the popular and distinctly unique museum designed by artist Salvador Dalí. From the outer walls of the museum, you can already sense Dalí’s imagination and creativity as the façade is crowned by giant eggs and golden Oscar-like statues. The burgundy walls are adjourned with gold embellishments and at the back of the building knights and goddesses hold golden baguettes on their heads and a deep sea diver stands before the centre window. The Dalí Theatre-Museum is definitely the most unique and imaginative museum I have ever seen as it plunges visitors to the depths of the chaotically beautiful mind of Dalí.
The museum, in Dalí’s hometown of Figueres, was previously a theatre that burned down during the Spanish Civil War. In 1960, Dalí and the mayor of Figueres decided to rebuild the façade as a museum dedicated to Dalí’s masterpieces. The museum opened on September 28, 1974, and displays the largest and most diverse collection of Dalí’s works. Within the walls of Dalí’s Wonderland, lies paintings from all decades of Dalí’s career, sculptures, three-dimensional collages, mechanical devices and other curiosities from Dalí’s mad world. One of the most interesting designs in the museum is a three-dimensional living room with furniture that looks like Mae West’s face; from hair curtains, to portrait eyes, to a fireplace nose, to sofa lips.
The museum also holds a few works by other artists like El Greco, Bouguereau, Marcel Duchamp and John de Andrea. There is even a second-floor gallery devoted to his fellow Catalan artist and friend, Antoni Pitxot.
Many people consider Dalí Theatre-Museum as the last great work of Dalí with its glass geodesic dome crowning the former theatre stage and an open courtyard with a sailboat floating atop a tower of tires where the audience used to sit. Dalí’s crypt is actually buried below the stage; the plaque can be found in the basement level. Dalí’s intention of an outrageously creative museum was to give visitors a real experience of Dalí’s freaky world.