Dalí Theatre and Museum
The Dalí Theatre and Museum (Catalan: Teatre-Museu Dalí, IPA: [teˈatɾə muˈzɛw ðəˈɫi], Spanish: Teatro Museo Dalí), is a museum of the artist Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres, in Catalonia, Spain.
I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.:1
— Salvador Dalí
The heart of the museum is the building that housed the town's theater when Dalí was a child, where one of the first public exhibitions of young Dalí's art was shown. The old theater was burned during the Spanish Civil War and remained in a state of ruin for decades. In 1960, Dalí and the mayor of Figueres decided to rebuild it as a museum dedicated to the town's most famous son.:4 In 1968, the city council approved the plan, and construction began the following year.:4 The architects were Joaquim de Ros i Ramis and Alexandre Bonaterra.:152 The museum opened on September 28, 1974,:4 with continuing expansion through the mid-1980s. The museum now includes buildings and courtyards adjacent to the old theater building.
The museum displays the single largest and most diverse collection of works by Salvador Dalí, the core of which was from the artist's personal collection. In addition to Dalí paintings from all decades of his career, there are Dalí sculptures, 3-dimensional collages, mechanical devices, and other curiosities from Dalí's imagination. A highlight is a 3-dimensional anamorphic living-room installation with custom furniture that looks like the face of Mae West when viewed from a certain spot.:156:28
The museum also houses a small selection of works by other artists collected by Dalí, ranging from El Greco and Bougereau to Marcel Duchamp and John de Andrea,:35 In accordance with Dalí's specific request, a second-floor gallery is devoted to the work of his friend and fellow Catalan artist Antoni Pitxot, who also became director of the museum after Dalí's death.
A glass geodesic dome cupola crowns the stage of the old theater, and Dalí himself is buried in a crypt below the stage floor.:19 The space formerly occupied by the audience has been transformed into a courtyard open to the sky, with Dionysian nude figurines standing in the old balcony windows.:12-17 A Dalí installation inside a full-sized automobile, inspired by Rainy Taxi (1938), is parked near the center of the space.:12-15
The Dalí Theatre and Museum holds the largest collection of major works by Dalí in a single location. Some of the most important exhibited works are Port Alguer (1924), The Spectre of Sex-appeal (1932), Soft self-portrait with grilled bacon (1941), Poetry of America—the Cosmic Athletes (1943), Galarina (1944–45), Basket of Bread (1945), Leda Atomica (1949), Galatea of the Spheres (1952) and Crist de la Tramuntana (1968).:154
There is also a set of works created by the artist expressly for the Theater-Museum, including the Mae West room, the Palace of the Wind room, the Monument to Francesc Pujols, and the Cadillac plujós.
A collection of holographic art by Dalí, and a collection of jewelry he designed are on display. Another room contains a bathtub and a side table with an open drawer and a lamp, all of which Dalí had installed upside-down on the ceiling.:31
An extension to the museum building contains a room dedicated to optical illusions, stereographs, and anamorphic art created by Dalí. The artist's final works, including his last oil painting, The Swallow's Tail (1983),:42 are on display here.
Other Dalí museums
- Dalí Universe - in London, England
- Salvador Dalí Museum - in St Petersburg, Florida, United States
- Espace Dalí - in Paris, France
- Pitxot, Antoni; Montse Aguer Teixidor; photography, Jordi Puig; translation, Steve Cedar (2007). The Dalí Theatre-Museum. Sant Lluís, Menorca: Triangle Postals. ISBN 9788484782889.
- King, Elliott H. (guest curator); David A. Brenneman, managing curator ; with contrib. by William Jeffet, Montse Aguer Teixidor, Hank Hine (2010). Salvador Dalí : the late work. Atlanta, Ga: High Museum of Art and Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300168280.
- "Figueres: Teatre Museu Dalí - History". Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí. 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010.