The Art Of Observation

I guess we’re supposed to be flattered, but frankly I hope we’ve grown beyond the point where we are ecstatic that others see us as more than a lot of sun, sand and salty water. Case in point: the recent visit by a Boston Globe journalist who was impressed that we were not culturally challenged. The writer “discovered top-notch museums” that “offer art, education and hands-on activities for children.”

The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg drew the biggest raves — and well it should have. If ever the banality “world class” applied to anything around here, it applies to the Dali. Its renown is truly international. Sorry to sound like an ingrate, but “the jewel in the crown of St. Petersburg museums” is faint praise.

Also finding favor with the Globe journalist were St. Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Florida Holocaust Museum, as well as Tampa’s children-focused Museum of Science and Industry and The Florida Aquarium. As for the lower (pre-Vinoly) profile Tampa Museum of Art, it wasn’t mentioned. Not only is TMA very hands-on in its outreach programs to elementary students, but it possesses the finest antiquities collection in the Southeast.

So, thank you for acknowledging that we are much more than sun-and-fun Philistines, but please do your homework next time.

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