The British Museum might have lost its charm on that foggy day in London Town (q.v. Ira Gershwin), but I can think of no better way to spend a foggy Monday in Tampa Bay than to use it as an excuse to eschew the beach and head for one of the many local museums open today. And even if the fog clears outside, the art and history and just plain fun you find inside can go a long way toward piercing any mental fog you’re experiencing. Here are five whose doors are open today.
The Top 5 Museums to Visit in Tampa Bay
1. The Dalí Museum
Did you try to get into the Dalí on race weekend? Tough luck. But the museum reopens today, so hurry on over and enjoy Magritte & Dali, pairing two playful giants of surrealism. The museum parking lot is closed today through the 13th; here’s info about the parking shuttle from Tropicana Field. 1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg. Opens 10 a.m. thedali.org.
2. Florida Holocaust Museum
The current exhibition on rock ’n’ roll impresario Bill Graham has been a big draw for the museum, and for good reason: It’s an irresistible combination of music lore and personal saga, covering Graham’s own story (he was a Holocaust survivor, brought to the United States as an 11-year-old Jewish refugee fleeing the Nazis) and his impact on music and humanitarian causes (including major benefit concerts like LiveAid). 55 5th St. S., St. Petersburg. Opens 10 a.m. thefhm.org.
3. Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Tucked away in downtown Tampa’s Rivergate Tower — aka The Beercan Building — FMoPA boasts one of the area’s most striking museum spaces. The shows on view there now are well worth a visit: Lost and Found in America, featuring indelible images by three photographers (including USF grad Kalup Linzy) on themes of American dreaming and the search for self; Modus Operandi, an eye-opening survey of new frontiers in contemporary photography; and, in the museum’s Community Gallery, Forever Young, works by photographers 55 and over. 400 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa. Opens at 11 a.m. fmopa.org.
4. Museum of Fine Arts
Go for the glow. You may have seen photos of the gems on display in Jewels of the Imagination: Radiant Masterworks by Jean Schlumberger from the Mellon Collection, but you won’t get the full dazzle until you see these creations sparkling under the lights in this thoughtfully designed exhibition. And do go upstairs for Glow: The Hand-Painted Photographs of E.G. Barnhill. The painted-in skies and sunsets in these photos taken in the St. Petersburg area in the early 20th century are just as garishly beautiful as the real thing. 255 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg. Opens at 10 a.m., mfastpete.org.
5. Tampa Museum of Art
We’ve already recommended the Oswaldo Vigas show, a rare chance to see the work of an important Venezuelan artist. But here’s another reason to visit the TMA today: this week is your last chance to catch the revelatory Robert Indiana exhibition before it closes Mar. 17. You’ll find there’s a lot more to LOVE about Indiana than you might have thought. 120 Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. Opens at 10 a.m., tampamuseum.org.