Salvador Dali with dreamscape emerging from top of head

Coffee With A Curator

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February 1, 2023 @ 10:30am 11:30am

A Surrealist Approach to the Visions of the Catholic Saints

Join us for this installment of our Coffee with a Curator series, where Museum Staff or invited guests speak on a range of Dalí-inspired topics.

In this talk, Rev. Robert Keffer will present the miraculous and sometimes bizarre experiences recorded in the lives of the Roman Catholic Saints, and how they compare with modern Surrealism, especially with the works of Salvador Dalí. In the same way that the surrealists sought an alternative reality; visions, locutions and miracles were portals to holiness for the Catholic Saints. Symbols and stories associated with the saints can reach beyond the usual historic and religious interpretations and be seen through the lens of 20th Century Surrealism and the psychology of Sigmund Freud. Fr. Robert will present the many strange, bizarre and sometimes comic experiences of the saints in a surrealist light, while respectfully affirming the original religious meaning found in these events.  

Location: The Dalí Museum’s Will Raymund Theater (registration required), with overflow seating available in the Raymond James Community Room or live on YouTube (link below).

Register to attend in person at the link below. This event is free, with limited capacity. An event ticket is required for entry. Gallery access is not included.

To watch the live stream from home, click below at the time of the program:

Rev. Robert Keffer, OSB
Rev. Robert Keffer, OSB is a Benedictine Monk and Catholic Priest at Saint Vincent Arch Abbey in Latrobe, PA. Fr. Robert is an art history and studio arts teacher as well as part of the Human Formation Program at St. Vincent Seminary. Fr. Robert’s theological training includes the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the Angelicum Pontifical University in Rome, Italy. During his theological studies, Fr. Robert majored in Old Testament Biblical Exegesis and Comparative Religious Symbolism, and these subjects’ connection with the history of Western Art. Originally a Fine Arts Major, Fr. Robert is an independent painter, and dedicated years of private research to Surrealism and Salvador Dalí. Fr. Robert is an art lecturer on Salvador Dalí, Surrealism and Modern and Contemporary Art. Fr. Robert has twice spoken at The Dalí Museum’s Coffee With the Curator Series. Fr. Robert also has given lectures on Dalí and Haute Cuisine, and Dalí and American Pop Culture from the 1930’s through the 1980’s.