The Dali Museum Collection is rich in works from artist Salvador Dali’s entire career (1904-1989), with key works from every moment and in every medium of his artistic activity. The Collection includes 96 oil paintings, many original drawings, bookworks, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts, and an extensive archive of documents. Founded with the works collected by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the Museum has made significant additions to its collection.
In 1942, the Morses visited a traveling Dali retrospective at the Cleveland Museum of Art organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and became fascinated with the artist’s work. On March 21, 1943, the Morses bought their first Dali painting-Daddy Longlegs of the Evening, Hope! (1940). This was the first of many acquisitions, which would culminate 40 years later in the preeminent collection of Dali’s work in America. On April 13, 1943, the Morses met Salvador Dali and his wife Gala in New York initiating a long, rich friendship regularly visiting the Dali’s villa in Port Lligat, Spain.
The third floor galleries in the Tom and Mary James Wing provide a chronological gathering of Dali’s paintings. The small salons along the outer walls are illuminated by special skylights and display the large paintings over which Dali labored in the last decades of his career. The Hough Family Wing provides visitors a chance to see other aspects of the artist’s work, featuring his films, photographs, objects and works on paper.
The distinguished building, which opened on Jan. 11, 2011, enables the Museum to protect and display our collection, to welcome our public, and to educate and promote enjoyment. In a larger sense it is a place of beauty dedicated, as is Dali’s art, to understanding and transformation.