Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales

The Columbia Museum of Art presents their major spring exhibition Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales, on view March 11 – May 21, 2017, that explores the connections between art and literature through the artist’s signature playfulness, inventiveness, and fine draftsmanship. Featuring 36 colorful prints from The Dalí Museum, this whimsical exhibition showcases his illustrations for literary classics including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Don Quixote, and the tales of Hans Christian Andersen. SC Humanities supported this project through a Major Grant awarded in February 2017.

Clever, quirky, and cutting-edge, Dalí is one of the great artists of the 20th century. He was the most famous and infamous proponent of surrealism, a literary and artistic movement that strove to liberate the subconscious mind from the oppression of rational thought. The incredible worlds conjured by authors such as Lewis Carroll, Miguel de Cervantes, and Hans Christian Andersen were ideal inspirations for Dalí, who deemed these books to be early examples of surrealism.

A wide variety of public programs will take place while the exhibit is on display, including public lectures, educator programs, audiovisual tours, workshops, and more. A full list of planned public programs is below:

Ancillary Exhibitions:

Keepin’ It Surreal
On view March 30 – May 22 in the Interactive Education Gallery
Cardinal Newman School 10th – 12th grade art students create their own surreal characters in response to the work of Salvador Dalí and his compatriots.

Dalí Programs and Activities:

Free and Ongoing: March 11 – May 21

  • Multimedia TAP Tour available on your computer, smartphone, or on iPads provided by the CMA.
  • Thematic Fantastic Figures cards created in collaboration with Richland Library
  • Thirty-minute Spark Tours every Friday at 2:00 p.m.
  • Gallery Tour every Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
  • Thematic Art Explorer Backpacks

Members’ Opening Party
Friday, March 10 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Attendees celebrate the opening of Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales with an opening reception and lecture. RSVP by Friday, March 3, to 803-799-2810 or Individual membership admits one. All other levels admit two. Guests are $25 each. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Cash bar. $5 Valet parking. Chief Curator Will South gives a lecture at 7:15 p.m. Lecture has sold out.

Evening for Educators
Wednesday, March 15 | 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Educators from across the state are invited to join the CMA for an evening of art, wine, and nibbles. The evening features a lecture on Salvador Dalí with Chief Curator Will South and an exploration of our two featured exhibitions, Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales and Enduring Spirit: The Art of Tyrone Geter. Participants make connections with these exhibitions through hands-on studio lesson plans. Attendees will receive documentation for Professional Development renewal credit. Free with registration.

CMA Gala: A Night in Wonderland
Saturday, April 1 | 7:00 p.m. – Midnight
The CMA will host A Night in Wonderland, a whimsical, black-tie affair to celebrate and support the arts. The gala is the CMA’s largest fundraiser of the year and attracts many prominent community citizens, museum supporters, and art lovers from around the state. The event raises critical funds to support the museum’s mission to provide outstanding art and arts education for lifelong learning and community enrichment.

A Night in Wonderland showcases the major spring exhibition Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales in a magical evening filled with enchanting cuisine, décor, and entertainment. This event is made possible with the support of generous individual and corporate sponsors. $150 per ticket ($75 tax-deductible). Presented by Jim Hudson Lexus of Columbia.

ArtBreak: Dalí in La Mancha with Presbyterian College Professor Sharon Knight
Tuesday, April 4 | Café at 10:30 a.m. | Program at 11:00 a.m.
Dr. Sharon Knight specializes in early modern prose narrative, particularly the novels and short stories of Miguel de Cervantes. She is the chair of the modern foreign languages department at Presbyterian College with a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

ArtBreak is a program that looks at art through a different lens. Each session features a speaker who gives insight into their worldview by sharing their interpretation of works of art at the CMA. Attendees begin the morning at the museum at 10:30 a.m. with pastries and coffee sold at a pop-up café. Program starts at 11:00 a.m.

Gladys’ Gang: From Bugs to Bunnies
Wednesdays, April 5 and 19 | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
From bugs to bunnies, we’ll be exploring animals at this month’s Gladys’ Gang! We’ll find all sorts of creatures in the work of Dalí and then create our own inspired animals. Participants (ages 2 – 5) and their adult companions explore art through the introduction of elementary art terms such as color, line, shape, and texture during the Gladys’ Gang series. This program includes story time and a creative studio activity related to the art exploration theme. Free. Registration recommended as space is limited. Key topic: animals.

Let’s Get Weird: A Surreal Bash
Thursday, April 6 | 6:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Are you ready? Because things are about to get surreal. The CMA is turning back the melting clock as they celebrate weirdness with a night devoted to Dalí. Join the CMA for neo-surrealist poetry inspired by the works in Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales, play Exquisite Corpse (surrealists’ game of choice), create your own Dalí-esque art assemblages and poetry, and watch some trippy surrealist cinema. Out-there tunes provided by DJ Paul Grant. Live performance by Pedro Lopez de Victoria. Cash bar. Surrealist attire highly encouraged. $12 / $5 for members.

Printmaking 101
Saturday, April 8 | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
From Dürer to Dalí, printmaking has been a mainstay of artists for centuries. Learn one facet of this age-old technique as you create your own relief prints. Explore the prints in Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales and then make your own design to create cards, bookplates, art prints, or anything you can dream up. Taught by local art educator Jimmy Hiller. $60 / $48 for members. All materials included.

Passport to Art: Get Surreal!
Sunday, April 9 | Noon – 3:00 p.m.
Celebrate the work of Salvador Dalí by creating some surreal scenes of your own. Experiment with oil and water to make abstract creations that could be right out of a fairy tale. Join us at 1:00 to see some of the scenes the artist created himself. Free.

Gladys’ Gang: Swirly, Curvy, Topsy-Turvy
Wednesdays, May 3 and 17 | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Some art is a little bit crazy! Join CMA to explore the work of Salvador Dalí and all of his bright colors, swooping lines, and whimsical shapes. Then participants will create some surreal scenes of our own. Participants (ages 2 – 5) and their adult companions explore art through the introduction of elementary art terms such as color, line, shape, and texture during the Gladys’ Gang series. This program includes story time and a creative studio activity related to the art exploration theme. Free. Registration recommended as space is limited. Key topic: shape.

A Thousand Words: Illustrations in Rare Books
Thursday, May 11 | 1:00 p.m.
Librarian Michael C. Weisenburg from the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections explores illustrated literature from Hans Christian Andersen’s tales, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Free with membership or admission.

Passport to Art: Drawing like Dalí
Sunday, May 14 | Noon – 3:00 p.m.
Surrealist artists like Salvador Dalí used a technique called automatic drawing. Come try it for yourself in the CMA studios and get up close and personal with his work in a 1:00 p.m. tour. Free.

Arts & Draughts
Friday, May 19 | 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Art, drink, and be happy! Enjoy beer tastings from The Whig, live music, D.I.Y. art projects, interactive art, scavenger hunts, unique perspective tours of the Dalí exhibition, and more. Participants can enter a Salvador Dalí mustache contest and help create a collaborative, surrealistic backdrop for our photo booth. At the art table, create your own multimedia automatic artwork and poetry and get a glimpse of surrealist films. Community partners Richland Library, USC’s Ink & Paper, and more will be on hand with more Dalí-inspired D.I.Y. activities. $9 / $5 for members. Presented by McDaniels Subaru and Cyberwoven. Sponsored by The Whig, WXRY, and Free Times.

For more information about Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales and other events, visití.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 22-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: A Mad Tea Party, 1969; Heliogravure on Japon nacré; Collection of the Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida