She Was a Surrealist Woman - She Was Like A Figure in a Dream

© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VEGAP, Figueres, 2019. Worsinger Photo / Museum of the City of New York. 37.67.8

Cat. no. OE 28

She Was a Surrealist Woman - She Was Like A Figure in a Dream

Unique Original Work - Installation


Lost / Ephemeral work

In The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, the artist recalls the commission to create this window display for the famous department store on New York’s Fifth Avenue: ‘By way of demonstration, I accepted an offer to dress one of the windows of Bonwit-Teller’s [sic] shop with a surrealist display. I used a manikin whose head was made of red roses and who had fingernails of ermine fur. On a table, a telephone transformed into a lobster; hanging on a chair, my famous “aphrodisiac coat”.’ Many years later, in The Unspeakable Confessions of Salvador Dalí, the artist acknowledged these elements as the three characters of the mise-en-scène. In the window display, both the female mannequin and the table can be related to the iconography of the 1935 painting Woman with Head of Roses, while the telephone and the jacket are identified as sculptural works. The floor was covered with spoons and various objects and fashion accessories hung from the elongated arms projecting through the side walls. This window display is a good example of Dalí’s involvement with the world of fashion during the 1930s.


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  2. A. Hugues, "Dali Does A Surrealist Shop Window", New York American, 20/12/1936, New York, NY
  3. "Newest art sensation inspires Bonwit's to do «surrealist» windows", Retailing, 28/12/1936, New York, NY, ill.
  4. "This Crazy World ! Surrealism is Proving Contagious", Indiana Evening Gazette, 06/01/1937, Indiana, PA, p. 9, ill.
  5. "This Crazy World Surrealism Is Proving Contagious", The Rhinelander Daily News, 08/01/1937, Rhinelander, WI, p. 6, ill.
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  17. Ghislaine Wood, The Surreal body : fetish and fashion, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2007, p. 59, ill.
  18. Shûzô Takigushi, Dalí : Tokio, 1939, Notari, Genève, 2012, fig. 48, ill.
  19. Valerie J. Fletcher, Marvelous objects : surrealist sculpture from Paris to New York, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Delmonico Books, Prestel, Washington, DC, Munich, London, New York, 2015, p. 55, ill.
  20. Torsten Otte, Salvador Dalí & Andy Warhol : encounters in New York and beyond, Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich, 2016, p. 163
  21. Dalí / Duchamp, Royal Academy of Arts, The Dalí Museum, London, St. Petersburg, FL, 2017, p. 198, ill.
  22. Gek van surrelisme, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2017, pp. [182]-183, ill.

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Works of which the installation is composed