On Exhibit: the Improbable Friendship Between Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí
When Walt Disney first reached out to Salvador Dalí in the 1930s, it was the beginning of an unlikely partnership. They seemed to come from opposite worlds—Disney, an American animation pioneer and Dalí, a Spanish Surrealist—but the two men ultimately became life-long friends, remaining close even after their collaborative short film Destino failed to be completed.
Co-organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and curated by filmmaker Ted Nicolaou, Disney and Dalí features original paintings, story sketches, correspondences, archival film, and photographs that help to tell the story of the duo’s alliance both in and out of the studio.
Described as “a deeper look into the lives and artistic prominence of the Surrealist and the dreamer,” and illustrative of “just how alike these two innovators were in blurring the lines between reality and dreams,” the exhibit will be on view from July 10 through January 3 in California and from late January through June, 2016 in Florida.
Can’t wait ‘til summer? Check out the slides above for a sneak peek of the show.
Dalí with Disney by the beach in Spain, 1957
Several of Dalí’s works in the exhibit are shown next to illustrations from the Disney Studios to demonstrate his influence. Compare Mary Blair’s concept artwork for Cinderella, shown here, to Dalí’s The Broken Bridge and the Dream on the following slide.
The similarities in both theme and composition of Blair’s 1950 concept work for Cinderella and Dalí’s The Broken Bridge and the Dream (above) clearly illustrate the Surrealist’s influence on Disney, post-Destino.
The Dalí and Disney families around the dinner table in Spain, 1957
Dalí’s Study for Sentimental Colloquy
Dalí's illustration from Novella L'Oncle Vincents
Untitled work by Salvador Dalí, ca. 1946
Willy Rizzo photograph of Salvador Dalí.
Photograph of Walt Disney, ca. 1930s