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Dalí Museum in Monterey

Monterey, California's new waterfront museum, Dali17, showcases nearly 600 of Salvador Dalí's lithographs, etchings, sculptures, and tapestries.

Dali17 museum visitor looks at work up close in Monterey, picture
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Photo: Melissa Barnes
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Works by Salvador DalÍ find a new home.

In 1941, as war raged in Europe, Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala, were living in Monterey, Calif. Their temporary residence—the luxurious Hotel Del Monte—proved the perfect venue for a dinner party. Millionaires and movie stars attended “A Surrealistic Night in an Enchanted Forest,” as did a lion cub. A live toad leaped at comedian Bob Hope from a silver serving dish.

Now, 75 years later, Monterey has a new reason to celebrate: the Dali17 museum. The waterfront space, roughly 16,000 square feet on two floors, showcases nearly 600 of Dalí’s lithographs, etchings, sculptures, and tapestries. The works are the personal collection of the museum’s founder and owner, Dmitry Piterman. “It’s a homecoming for a great artist,” Piterman says of Dalí, who lived in Monterey County on and off for about seven years.

Dalí, who died in 1989, worked often in his native Catalonia, where he painted the iconic Persistence of Memory, a landscape festooned with melting watches. Oozing clocks and other dreamlike visions pervade the works on display throughout Dali17.

Why the number 17? The name is a nod to the Monterey Peninsula’s historic 17-Mile Drive, which once began and ended at the hotel. 

This article was first published in Winter 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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