Barcelona, 28 May 2004
The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation presented the first part of the catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work, one of the Foundation’s most significant contributions to the centennial of Salvador Dalí’s birth. The presentation was given at the Catalan National Art Museum by the Director, Eduard Carbonell, and on behalf of the Foundation by the Chairman, Ramon Boixadós, as well as Montse Aguer, Dalí Year commissioner and Director of the Centre for Dalinian Studies (CED), and Fèlix Fanés, advisor to the CED and professor of History of Art at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The catalogue raisonné is a work of painstaking and thorough research carried out by the Centre for Dalinian Studies. It presents Dalí’s pictorial oeuvre so as to be consultable according to three criteria: chronological order, alphabetical order and by collections. The first part of this research work, which includes 252 pieces, ranges from the first oil and tempera works through to the year 1930. Work continues in order to publish the rest of the painter’s work, which has been divided into the following periods: a second period covering to 1939, a third to 1951, a fourth to 1964 and a fifth and last period to 1983. The main feature of this contribution is that it can be consulted free of charge via Internet using the Foundation’s website http://www.salvador-dali.org The fact that it is on digital medium means that any further data that may emerge following publication of the work can later be added to the site.
Works from 93 different collections have been catalogued (30 museums and 63 private individuals)
During its presentation, Fèlix Fanés mentioned the fact that “Dalí was one of the very few artists who still did not have a thorough catalogue of his work. The main reason was because of the dispersion of his works, which are mainly concentrated in private hands. Although a good collaboration from institutions and private individuals has been found, there are still some gaps, though much less than at the beginning of the project” Fanés explained. The catalogue includes works from 30 different collections, among which the Gala-Salvador Dalí stands out for it has 65 of the 252 works listed in the catalogue. The Salvador Dalí Museum (St. Petersburg, Florida) has 45 and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid) 26. Apart from the contributions from other institutions like the Musée National d'Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) or The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), there are a further 63 works belonging to private collectors.
According to the Centre for Dalinian Studies researchers, the object of the catalogue was not to undertake an aesthetic assessment of the painter’s oeuvre but rather a task of attribution, establishing once and for all the total extent of Dalí’s pictorial production. The research includes an examination of the known works, contrasting visual examination with photographic records. Montse Aguer stated “works of which we did not know their location were also included in the catalogue, because we were absolutely sure of their existence since they are so well documented”.
The work was carried out by the technical teams of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation under the direction of Montse Aguer, Dalí Year commissioner and Director of the CED, with the assistance of Carme Ruiz (coordinator of the CED) and Rosa Aguer (Registrar). This team had advisory support from Antoni Pitxot, Director of the Dalí Theatre-Museum, Georgina Berini, the Foundation’s conservator-restorer, and Fèlix Fanés, professor of History of Art at the UAB and advisor to the CED. As regards the technical part, the company Multistudio worked on the initial approach to the catalogue raisonné, with the assistance of the programmers Interkonet Publishers, the computing supplier and consultant Estudis i Projectes Informàtics and the Bis Dixit design studio. Multistudio had previously designed the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation website, which was launched in December 1999; this same firm maintains the site and was also in charge of designing the Dalí Year internet portal www.dali2004.info, made available on 6 October 2003 to coincide with the official inauguration of the centennial at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. Interkonet Publishers carried out the database programming work, using PHP release 4.2.1 as the programming language due to its power and dynamic qualities, and Microsoft SQL Server as database due to its reliability and ease of management. A content-administration tool fed directly from the Dalí Foundation’s local database was also created, thereby allowing any changes or new additions to be immediately made available on-line.