Why Monterey?

Salvador Dalí did most of his surrealist painting and mustache twisting in his native Spain. But during the wartime 1940s, Dalí hid out in Pebble Beach, where he was a regular among the artists, illustrators and oddballs who populated old Carmel.

That temporary legacy now has a permanent home at the Dali Expo, an exhibit of 570 works that has taken over the Museum of Monterey. The dripping clock paintings, etchings, lithographs, sculptures and tapestry display belong to Pebble Beach resident Dmitry Piterman, a Ukrainian-American businessman who became obsessed with Dalí while a student at UC Berkeley.

Dmitry Piterman offered up his huge collection of Dalí works to the Monterey History & Art Association in 2016. The association, which ran a drab local history museum at Custom House Plaza, happily took on the collection.

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech was born on the morning of May 11th, 1904 in the small agricultural town of Figueres, Spain. He was named after his elder brother Salvador, who died shortly before Dali was born. Dali spent his childhood in Figueres and at the family’s summer home in the coastal fishing village of Cadaques where his parents built his first studio. From an early age, Dalí was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí’s first Surrealist phase. He is perhaps best known for his 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting. As an adult, he made his home with his wife Gala in nearby Port Lligat. Many of his paintings reflect his love of this area of Spain. Dalí died in Figueres in 1989.

  • 1904 – Salvador Dalí is born in Figueres, Spain
  • 1914 – Begins education at Marist Brothers’ school
  • 1923 – Arrested for anarchist tendencies
  • 1929 – First meets his wife, Gala
  • 1930 – Develops the paranoiac-critical method
  • 1940 – Moves to America, settles in Pebble Beach, CA
  • 1945 – Dalí’s “atomic period” begins
  • 1989 – Dalí passes at age 85

Our Mission

Our mission at The Dalí Expo is to capture the rich history of Salvador Dalí in Monterey, while also striving to enrich our neighborhood by creating a beautiful space that everyone may enjoy while touring the famous Fisherman’s wharf. Together, we hope to spark positive thought and conversation through accessible art.


Dmitry Piterman OWNER

Dmitry was born in Odessa, Ukraine. At the age of 15 his family emigrated to the United States, settling in California where he attended college at Berkeley. His passion in life is psychology and philosophy, always striving to better understand people and their strange behaviors. Since he first came across a piece of Dalí’s work, he’s been fascinated with his pure and utter strangeness.

Rebecca Piterman DIRECTOR

Rebecca was born in Calgary, Canada and emigrated to the United States when she was 19. She first moved to St. Petersburg, FL which is where she learned of Salvador Dalí and began her peculiar fascination with his work and life. Rebecca’s passion in life is language and communication, in all forms. Dalí is a true master of expressing the deepest emotion, using multiple types of media.

Kaitlin Racacho MANAGER

Kaitlin is our amazing manager at the Dalí Expo. She was born and raised in Monterey, California. Before joining our team, she attended CSUMB and graduated with a degree in Global Studies with an emphasis on Economic Trends. Racacho’s passion for art stems from a long history of working within high-end cosmetic artistry. Her favorite Dalí piece is the Dalivision.