The Walt Disney Family Museum & The Dalí Museum PresentDisney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination
Extraordinary exhibition explores the unlikely friendship and professional alliance between tworenowned artists who shaped the imaginations of our era.
Guest-curated by filmmaker Ted Nicolaou, this immersive and enriching multi-media exhibition tells the story of the unlikely alliance between two of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century: brilliantly eccentric Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí and American entertainment innovator Walt Disney. Presented through a multimedia wonderland of original paintings, story sketches, conceptual artwork, objects, correspondences, archival film, photographs, and audio—many of which highlighting work from Disney studio artists—this comprehensive exhibition showcases two vastly different icons who were drawn to each other through their unique personalities, their collaboration on the animated short Destino—which, regrettably to both Disney and Dalí was never completed during their lifetimes—and their enduring friendship.
“The Walt Disney Family Museum, founded by Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, presents the life story of Diane's father, which story inspires visitors to heed their imaginations and persevere in pursuing their goals,” said The Walt Disney Family Museum’s Executive Director Kirsten Komoroske. “In keeping with this mission, the exhibitions at the museum feature dreamers, innovators, and collaborators. The museum’s next major exhibition unveils another aspect of Walt's story: the friendship between Walt and the influential and revolutionary artist, Salvador Dalí. The exhibition, co-organized with the Dalí Museum, not only further fulfills the mission of the museum, but also further solidifies the museum’s place among the many phenomenal fine art institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Born three years and half a world apart, both Disney and Dalí bore boyhood imaginations grounded in their upbringing in the 1900s, encouraging their lives, careers, and legacies to be paralleled on a profound level. A deeper look into the lives and artistic prominence of the Surrealist and the dreamer— highlighted by hand-written letters and alongside filmed dramatizations and audio re-creations— will show just how alike these two innovators were in blurring the lines between reality and dreams.
The friendship between Disney and Dalí was born out of the mutual admiration of two visionary artists and sustained by the simple kinship of two small town boys on a never-evening quest to broaden the horizons of art. Their influence reverberates all around us—in films, television, stage, advertising, fashion, and art. Through dedicated work, ingenious self-promotion, and their singular artistic visions, their names and art are forever fused in our collective imagination.
“Disney and Dalí heralds a new era in art exhibitions,” said Dalí Museum Executive Director, Hank Hine. “Visitors can expect a multi-sensory environment of moving image, soundscapes, and the transformative aura of exquisite individual paintings. Disney and Dalí broke new ground as artists—the Walt Disney Family Museum and The Dalí will deliver a brave new world of experience.”
Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination is co-organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum and The Dalí Museum, with the collaboration of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation in Figueres, Spain, and The Walt Disney Studios.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Writer-director Ted Nicolaou studied filmmaking at the University of Texas before moving to Los Angeles as a film editor, writing and directing independent, fantasy films. For the past 15 years, he has created innovative DVD and Blu-ray bonus documentaries for Walt Disney Home Entertainment, special features for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the feature-length documentary Dalí & Disney: A Date with Destino, for the re-release of Fantasia/Fantasia 2000, about the unlikely friendship and collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí. Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination is the first exhibition Nicolaou has curated.
ABOUT THE DALÍ MUSEUM
The Dalí Museum, located in the heart of beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, is home to an unparalleled collection of Salvador Dalí art, featuring more than 2,000 works comprising nearly 100 oil paintings; over 100 watercolors and drawings; and 1,300 prints, photographs, sculptures and objets d’art. The building is itself a work of art, featuring 1,062 triangular-shaped glass panels—the only structure of its kind in North America. Nicknamed The Enigma, it provides an unprecedented view of St. Petersburg’s picturesque waterfront. The Museum has attracted the world’s attention, and among the other distinguished awards it has received, it was listed by AOL Travel News as “one of the top buildings to see in your lifetime.” The Dalí Museum is located at One Dalí Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. For additional information contact 727.823.3767 or visit TheDali.org.
ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM
The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more. Museum hours: 10am to 6pm, Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays and the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The Presidio of San Francisco, 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129. Visit waltdisney.org.