Dali: Gems featured selections of the artist’s work by celebrated friends of the Dali, including Alice Cooper, Jeff Koons, Susan Sarandon and John Waters – and an opportunity for Dalí visitors to select their favorite work of art. Drawing from the Museum’s collection, our curator, Joan Kropf, meticulously selected over 80 exquisite and rarely viewed pieces from the vault, including jewelry, paintings, drawings, glassware, andobjets d’art. The ever poplar Holograph of Alice Cooper’s Brain is included.
The jewelry designed by Dalí in the 1940s and 1950s is a highlight of the Dali: Gems exhibition. According to curator Joan Kropf, “Dali, inspired by the artists of the Renaissance, designed jewels, where the craftsmanship outweighed the material value of the gold and gems. His aesthetic sensitivity seized hold of the themes and the myths that obsessed his thoughts, transcribing into pearls and precious stones his fantastic and symbolic world, including an interpretation of his famous melting clock as a gold and diamond brooch. Eleanor Morse, Dalí museum co-founder, wore the 13 pieces on display.”
Another key work on display is Dali’s Alchemy of the Philosophers, published in 1976. This rarely viewed and exceptional example of Dali’s ambitious book projects of the 1970s was painstakingly produced over a period of four years.
Finally, not to be overlooked, are the other rare gems from the collection – pieces that have remained in the vault for most of the last 27 years and have only been removed in a few instances. These include original and commercially designed items all bearing Dali’s iconic images: Venus de Milo with Drawers, 1936/1964; Birth of Venus, 1963, painted by Dalí in a gold cup; the Steuben Venus with Drawers glass bowl, 1939; Vermeil and gold Mollusk flatware, 1957; and much more.
Dali: Gems is sponsored by Franklin Templeton Investments. Additional support is provided by Chez Bryce, The Island Bistro, and Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater.