History of Salvador Dali Museum

The history of Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres is as fascinating as the work and life of Dali himself, dedicated to his legacy.

It is the largest surrealistic object in the world and houses the most extensive collection of Dalí’s works. 

Everything in it was designed and conceived by Dalí and inaugurated in 1989, two years before his death. 

The corridors will take you through Dalí’s artistic experiences, from surrealism to nuclear mysticism and science, culminating in works from his later years.

It also includes some of the artist’s personal belongings, such as furniture, books, and other objects. 

Dali Museum also features an extensive library with over 10,000 books on Dalí and his contemporaries and hosts temporary exhibitions.

History of the Dali Museum Origin and Creation

The idea of a Dali Museum first came up in the 1960s.

At the time, the mayor of Figueres asked Dali to donate some of his work to the Museum de L’Empordà.

Dali suggested dedicating a museum to his name and chose the former Municipal Theater to house it.

But the Spanish civil war destroyed the theater; only its peripheral structure existed.

Dali wanted to use the remains of the former theater and therefore devoted himself to the project from the 1970s, designing it until its inauguration on 28 September 1974.

A distinctive landmark in Figueres is the glass dome that houses Dalí’s casket.

The Museum Today

The Dali Museum houses about 1500 pieces of art of all types.

It includes a wide range of works by Dalí, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and audiovisual works. 

The Salvador Dali Art Gallery in Figueres comprises three different museum areas offering a personal and unguided route across the various galleries.

  1. The Theatre Museum, as such, was built on the remains of the old damaged municipal theater. Each part of this museum section is integral to a unique art object.
  1. The Theatre Museum galleries contain many works from Dalí’s legacy, like stereoscopic works, installations and anamorphic and new acquisitions.

  2. The Dali Jewels Exhibition features precious stones and  37 gold jewels from the previous Owen Cheatham collection and two later jewels and earlier designs by the painter.

Besides works by Salvador Dalí, his museum also displays art by other artists he invited to exhibit in his museum along with his private collection.

Galleries also feature Wolf Vostell, John de Andrea, Meifrén and Ernst Fuchs. 

Since Dali passed away in 1989, you can also visit his crypt in the museum’s center.

In 1997, authorities remodeled the space to showcase his collection of gold jewelry.

Salvador Dali Fun Facts

Salvador Dali Fun Facts
Image: Time.com

Salvador Dali is the well-known and most instantly recognizable surrealist artist of the 20th century.

Many of his famous paintings were inspired by the coastline between Cap de Creus and Cadaques and the rocky landscapes.

Find out some interesting facts about him.

  • Salvador Dali believed that he was the reincarnation of his older brother, also named Salvador, who died just nine months before the birth of Dali.
  • His work was greatly inspired by Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis and sexual repression theories.
  • Salvador Dali had a unique way of avoiding paying his restaurant bills – he would draw on the backs of the cheques instead.
  • Dali was expelled twice from the Academia de San Fernando, first for inciting a protest and second for telling the panel assessing him that they were not competent enough to judge him.
  • Salvador Dali met Gala, his future wife, while she was married to his friend, the artist Paul Éluard in 1929.
  • Dali’s support of Hitler, conflict with Breton, and neutrality towards Franco caused him to be expelled from the Surrealists, but he still exhibited with them.
  • Dali’s palsy diagnosis, coupled with his changing attitude towards his open marriage with Gala, her death, and his inability to paint, left him deeply depressed.
  • Dalí and Disney made “Destino,” a surreal animated short film about a love story between the mythological god Chronos and a woman named Dahlia. It was storyboarded in 1945 but only released in 2003 due to production delays.

Grab your Dali Museum tickets today and explore this artistic place by yourself. With Barcelona to Dali Museum, Port Lligat and the Costa Brava, you can explore the complete Dali World.

Featured Image: CNN.com

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