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Exhibits + Collections

Much Ado About Shakespeare

January 2013 – April 2013
Presented as part of a Shakespeare Festival in collaboration with area arts organizations featuring concerts, films, visual art, theater and more.Beginning Friday, January 11, 2013 the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, which holds the largest collection of Dali in the Americas, exhibited 31 works and two illustrated books inspired by the works of William Shakespeare. This exhibition, came from the Museum’s collection and was on display through April 28, 2013. The exhibition was curated by Joan Kropf, the Dali Museum’s curator of the collection.
About the Exhibition

Although best known as a painter, Dali also was a prolific writer, producing the remarkable autobiography The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, the witty painter’s handbook 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship, numerous essays and critical works including The Tragic Myth of Millet’s Angelus, and even the novel Hidden Faces. His involvement in the world of literature enabled Dali to be highly sympathetic in bringing to life a diverse range of literary classics including Dante’s Divine Comedy, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Goethe’s Faust, and Lewis Carroll’sAlice in Wonderland. But the one writer Dali repeatedly returned to was William Shakespeare.Shakespeare (1564-1616) is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist in English literature. Dali is widely regarded as the 20th century’s greatest artist of dreams. This exhibition features two suites of drypoint engravings (a method in which the design to be printed is scratched directly into a plate with a sharply pointed instrument) and two illustrated books in which Shakespeare’s most celebrated creations are reimagined by Dali. Much Ado About Shakespeare (1968) includes 15 drypoint engravings and Shakespeare II (1971) includes 16 drypoint engravings. Dali engraved the plates with fluidity and energy to depict Shakespeare’s protagonists and convey his feeling for them.The exhibit also features two bound books of Shakespeare classics –Macbeth (Doubleday, 1946) and As You Like It (London, Folio Press, 1953), which are examples of Dali’s illustrations for texts. Compared with the emblematic quality of the engravings, these book illustrations depict specific passages from the text. Macbeth features some of Dali’s most elaborate illustrations, photomechanical reproductions of original works on paper, whereas As You Like It is illustrated with reproductions of Dali’s drawings of costumes and sets for a 1949 stage production of the play.

About the Festival

The exhibition Much Ado About Shakespeare is presented as part of a collaborative Shakespeare Festival which will include two orchestra programs, five Shakespeare-inspired films, dramatic readings, Shakespeare in song, excerpts from plays and other events from January 3 through January 26. Partners include The Florida Orchestra, American Stage Theatre Company, The Mahaffey Theater, The Studio@620, Sunscreen Film Festival, St. Petersburg College School of Music, & the USF School of Music.


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