Will Dalí’s huge Masterworks one day be Exhibited Together?

By Paul Chimera

Salvador Dalí Historian


One of my Dalí dreams? To tour an exhibition of all of Salvador Dalí’s “masterworks” in one mind-blowing exhibition!


I believe it was Salvador Dalí’s leading collector (and benefactor of the Salvador Dalí Museum, first in Beachwood, Ohio, then when it relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida), Reynolds Morse, who coined the term “masterwork” to describe certain Dalí paintings.


His criteria were two-fold: the work had to be at least 5 feet long in one direction, and it had to have intellectually preoccupied Dalí for at least a year. Morse and his wife Eleanor owned five of them: Velazquez Painting the Infanta Margarita with the Lights and Shadows of His Own Glory; Nature Morte Vivante; Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus; The Ecumenical Council; and The Hallucinogenic Toreador.


Later, when the Morses set up the present, permanent museum in St. Pete, Florida, the masterworks Homage to Crick & Watson, and Portrait of My Dead Brother, were added to the mix. (I’m not sure if the large “Lincoln” canvas technically qualifies as a masterwork or not.)


I’ve fantasized with fellow Dalí aficionados about there one day being an exhibition of all the masterworks together. What a show that would be!


Reynolds Morse called it the “Dalí Movement,” and this would illustrate about as convincingly and conclusively as possible just how immense such a movement was.


The closest I’ve come (so far) to having all of Dalí’s masterworks to enjoy in a single exhibition was when Dalí: The Late Years was mounted in Atlanta, Georgia’s High Museum of Art in 2010-2011. Exhibited together were The Madonna of Port Lligat, Christ of St. John of the Cross, Asumpta Corpuscularia Lapislazulina, and the incomparable Santiago El Grande.


Today you’d have to travel to Stockholm to see The Enigma of William Tell; to Nova Scotia to see Santiago El Grande; Figueres to see Apotheosis of the Dollar; Japan to see The Battle of Tetuan; New York City to see Corpus Hypercubus and Madonna of the Ear; Washington, D.C. to see The Sacrament of the Last Supper. And that itinerary goes on.


25-DALISalvador1904-1989Naturemortevivante1956huiles_toileSt-PetersburgFloridemuséeDalí 0734 24513-Dalí,Salvador 10367136_10202617337087687_4045716543545240630_n 37884729_10156690332235962_6787251141861179392_n 0388697112d1196c8d52b972ff9fe70e 5115991084_5cfcbfb5d8_z Christ_of_Saint_John_of_the_Cross Dalí_Crucifixion_hypercube Dalí_DiscoveryOfAmerica fifty-abstract-paintings-which-as-seen-from-two-yards-change-into-three-lenins-masquerading-as Galacidalacidesoxyribonucleicacid portrait-of-my-dead-brother-1963 salvador-dali-in-the-act-of-painting-gala-in-the-apotheosis-of-the-dollar The_Ecumenical_Council_by_Salvador_Dalí The_Hallucinogenic_Toreador the-enigma-of-william-tell the-madonna-of-port-lligat the-virgin-of-guadalupe work_4965453_2_flat,550x550,075,f_assumpta-corpuscularia-lapislazulina-the-bodily-assumption-in-blue Velazquez-Painting-the-Infanta-Margarita


So you get the picture: these great works are scattered around the globe. Alas, maybe having all these remarkable masterpieces – masterworks, that is – together in one venue might just be too much. Too overwhelming. Too much genius in one place. Oh, to dream. Something Salvador Dalí did with masterful results!



(Images used under Fair Use provisions for journalistic purposes only)