Salvador Dalí Masterpieces are “Stripped Bare and Bathed”
From now until June 22, visitors of the Salvador Dali Museum can watch as expert conservationists strip away forty years of dust, dirt and dander from 4 pieces of Dali’s Masterworks. The project, titled “Stripped Bar and Bathed,” comes with a price tag of $100,000, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was further supported by a group of private donors: the Keepers of the Master Works, who gave generously to assist with this vital process.
A team of eight conservators will be cleaning and re-stretching four of the museum’s eight Masterworks: Galacidalicidesoxiribuncleaicacid, 1963; The Ecumenical Council, 1960; The Discovery of of America, 1959; and The Hallucinogenic Toreador, 1970. This is a painstaking and dramatic process. Every day during the project, conservationist Rustin Levenson, President and Founder of Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates, and her crew will answer questions while their work is projected live from Hough Family Gallery.
“It’s more complicated than it looks,” Levenson says. “It’s part art history, part science. No one should ever try to clean art at home. The worst damage I have seen was by untrained restorers.” With several weeks spent evaluating the paintings and writing damage reports and additional weeks spent mixing chemicals, the process is time consuming.
“There is a mystery to conservation,” says Hank Hine, director of the museum, “the chemicals, the arcane technology. But most of it is very hands-on and we wanted to demystify and dramatize the technique.”
Stripped Bare and Bathed: the Preservation of Dali’s Masterworks
June 11, 2012 – September 9, 2012
Stripped Bare and Bathed: the Preservation of Dali’s Masterworks is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the dramatic process of preserving works of art. The exhibition is the realization of an essential part of the museum’s mission: the presentation of the work of artist Salvador Dali. With Stripped Bare and Bathed: the Preservation of Dali’s Masterworks, the museum will demonstrate an equally essential part of its mission: the preservation of these priceless works for future generations.
The New Dali is the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by the late Spanish surrealist. It has Michelin Guide’s only three star rating on Florida’s west coast, and AOL Travel News lists the museum as “One of the top buildings you have to see before you die.“