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The Dali Museum Library

About this collection

The Dali-Morse Correspondence, covering the years 1943-1988, provides an insightful glimpse into not only the relationship between Salvador Dalí and his friends and patrons Eleanor and A.R. Morse of Cleveland, OH, but also offers a broader perspective on the dynamics of the 20th century art world and on the relationship between Salvador and his wife Gala. From the earliest letters, the development of a deep intellectual friendship, as well as the obsession of the Morses with Dali’s art that would lead them to collect so many works, can clearly be seen. Other phenomena, such as the increasing significance of New York as a global center of progressive art, the increasing importance of media in creating artistic value, the transformation of the production of art into an explicitly commercial enterprise, and the use of art as political propaganda by the extremist governments of the 20th century can also be observed. While it is difficult to glean much about Dalí’s personal life as the letters are mostly written by Gala, his reliance on and closeness to Gala are also readily apparent, to the point where sentences in letters change almost as though the speaker had switched from Gala to Salvador or vice versa. The letters also show their increasing distance during the 1970s as Gala slipped into dementia and Salvador’s seclusion after her death in 1982. This unique collection thus provides a rich source on the life and times of Salvador Dalí, of interest to scholars, enthusiasts, and amateurs alike.

 

 
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