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 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