18 May 2005
Each year since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has been proposing a subject upon which to reflect, and it invites museum professionals to approach the public and increase their awareness of the challenges the museum has to face through being an institution in the service of society and of its development. This year, the day is being devoted to the role museums can play as a bridge between cultures.
The Government of Catalonia’s Department of Culture is proposing an activity in common for the Catalan museums under the name “Discover a Jewel of the Museum”, which consists in highlighting a piece of special interest that is suited to the theme proposed by the ICOM. The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation aims to take part in this initiative in a virtual way with the following work:
NAME: Illustration for the first part of the English-language edition of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, published by Random House in 1946. It comes from chapter XVIII of The Life and Achievements of the Renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha.
INVENTORY NO.: 3606
AUTHOR: Salvador Dalí
MEASUREMENTS: 28.7 x 31.4 cm
TECHNIQUE: water colours and India ink on paper
PROVENANCE: the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation collection
With his many journeys to and stays in Madrid, Paris and New York, Salvador Dalí allowed his native Empordà to be permeated by the ideas, literary traditions, scientific and artistic discoveries that he brought into work alongside features from the more local setting: to make meetings with artists more entertaining, he would invite Catalan folk dance bands for sardanas and the gypsy community to organise tablaos. Dalí always took an integrating stance in the face of cultural and artistic diversity, thereby getting even styles considered to be in opposition to one another to live alongside one another in perfect harmony in his work. In this water colour, Dalí places a figure wearing the typical Catalan red beret in a sequence from Don Quixote.
Admirers of Dalí’s work are of widely varying origins and beliefs. We would like to think that the Dalí museums help to create spaces for physical and virtual encounters.