So this is why they build museums

I’m not one for museums. That’s odd for an artist, don’t you think? I don’t know what it is but I just don’t gravitate toward them. You have to drag me almost kicking and screaming to go to one.

This week a new friend I met at a training session wanted to go to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and she asked me to join her. I didn’t have an excuse not to go other than just not wanting to. And when I thought to myself, “I don’t want to” it sounded pretty lame. So I went.

This post is about a painting and an experience that should forever remind me

to go to the museum, even when I don’t want to.
dali lincoln close
Above is the painting Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko) by Salvador Dali, 1976. (Yes, that’s the title of the painting.) This was shot from about three feet away.

Up close, you see the woman, Gala, Dali’s wife, staring out into the sea. And when you stand at a distance (you might have to squint your eyes) Abe Lincoln appears in the painting. Very cool, right?

But get this: if you hold up from smartphone to take a picture, you can see
dali lincoln phoneHonest Abe immediately, at any distance, without squinting. Another interesting aspect is that you almost can’t see the painting without seeing Lincoln.

I don’t know the science behind it, but I suspect it might have to do with the pixels in Dali’s painting and the pixels that make up the screen of the device.

I would have missed this experience if I’d skipped the museum that day, so I need to remember this every time I have a chance to go to a museum — there’s magic inside museums. This painting alone was worth the trip.

Here are some resources for you if you want to see and learn more:
The Dali Museum
Explaining the illusion
Salvador Dalí Painting: His wife or Abraham Lincoln?
Tampa Bay Times article

One response to “So this is why they build museums

  1. Karen, I’m so glad you didn’t find an excuse…..I would have missed out on meeting a very special person! Your blog is super interesting!

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