a woman sitting on a stone staircase

Leonora Carrington: Writer, Painter, Visionary

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September 9, 2023 - January 7, 2024

An up-close look at the life of the acclaimed surrealist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), Leonora Carrington: Writer, Painter, Visionary explores publications from the holdings of The Dalí Museum Library & Archives, situating them in the context of her remarkable career. Featuring a suite of etchings made at Graphicstudio, Tampa in 1995, this graphic presentation offers a unique glimpse into Carrington’s artful exploration of text over the course of her long career. 

Celebrated for her mystical and fantastical work, Carrington had an exceptional career as a surrealist artist, sculptor and writer. She began to develop her signature dreamlike style as a young woman, writing evocative short stories upon her encounter with the Surrealist movement in Paris. Born into a conservative English family, she had already been expelled by two Catholic schools by the time she began her training as an artist, and her work came to be profoundly shaped by adversity. During World War II, her partner Max Ernst was arrested, prompting her departure for Madrid, where she entered an asylum, narrowly escaping by a marriage of convenience. By way of New York, she eventually settled in Mexico and flourished creatively in a network of likeminded artists and fellow expatriates. 

While best known for her prolific painting practice, she was also a notable author. Her wide-ranging publications—including The House of Fear (1938), a collection of fantastical short stories; Down Below (1943), a memoir of her experiences in an asylum; and the eco-feminist fairytale The Hearing Trumpet (1974)—earned her broad acclaim, and she was awarded the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986.  

Part of the ongoing “Writers of Surrealism” series, Leonora Carrington: Writer, Painter, Visionary is curated by Peter Tush, Curator of Education at the Dalí Museum.   

This exhibit is free for all guests. 

View the online exhibit here.