Salvador Dali Museum


Daily Hours 10am-5:30pm
Thursdays 10am-8:00pm

Last ticket sold at 5:15pm
7:45pm on Thursdays

Museum Store and Gardens remain open for 30 minutes after closing.

Members receive one year of unlimited free museum admission. Join today.

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Ticket Prices

General Admission: 18-64 $24
Seniors: 65+ $22
Military, Police, Firefighters & Educators (with ID*) $22
Students: 18+ (with ID*) $17
Students: 13-17 $17
Children: 6-12 $10
Children: 5 and younger FREE
After 5pm on Thu: Adults, Seniors, College* $10
After 5pm on Thu: Students: 13-17 $10
After 5pm on Thu: Children: 6-12 $8
After 5pm on Thu: Children 5 and younger FREE
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Members receive one year of unlimited free museum admission. Join today.

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Exhibits + Collections

The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory

Date: 1952-54
Material Used: Oil on canvas
Size: 10 x 13 inches

This painting features one of Dali’s most popular images, the melting watch. In 1931, Dali painted his first melting watch. He said he was inspired one hot day while working in his studio when he noticed some runny Camembert cheese.

To Dali, the oozing cheese resembled a melting watch, so immediately he painted three melting watches on his canvas, capturing the public’s imagination for succeeding generations.

It is not clear why these melting watches are so startling and memorable, but they do suggest several powerful associations. They illustrate how time can be fluid, as in a dream. But a more essential and threatening association concerns our dependence upon clocks. The world runs by the clock – scheduling events is essential for life to function normally. If clocks melt, time becomes meaningless, and there is no way to control activities, leading to chaos.

Looking across the painting, what do you see? There are several images suggesting chaos, including the ocean fragmenting into atomic bits, its skin-like edge lifted to reveal a fish fluorescing. Yet there are other images that suggest continuity as well, particularly in the details of Dali’s beloved Port Lligat landscape. Other questions arise – is the image disintegrating, or is it an expression of continuity? Is time interrupted, or is it fluid and elastic? Looking beneath the ocean’s surface, do you discover disintegration or order? Dali leaves the answers to the viewer.

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