The fourth annual exhibition in the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind, in collaboration with The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, opened February 9, 2020 and will conclude on June 28, 2020. The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg is home to an unparalleled collection of Dalí’s works. Salvador DalÍ: Gardens of the Mind will include ten colorful photolithographs of flowers by Dalí along with works from American photographer Clyde Butcher’s series Visions of Dalí’s Spain. These artworks and the Dalí-themed plant displays inspired by them will transform Selby Gardens’ into an evocation of Dalí’s vision.
Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind highlights the artist’s use of botanical imagery alongside a surreal display of plants in Selby Gardens’ Tropical Conservatory and gardens. Within the Museum of Botany & the Arts, the photolithographic series Flordalí, on loan from The Dalí Museum, is the centerpiece of the exhibit, along with photos that put the artist’s life, work, and relationship with nature into context. Photos of Dalí’s beloved Catalonia by renowned nature photographer and local Sarasota County resident, Clyde Butcher, will complement the extraordinary landscapes visible in several Flordalí pieces, and in much of Dalí’s art.
The series Flordalí, 1968, depicts flowers interpreted by Dalí’s vivid imagination: a rose sprouts butterfly wings instead of leaves; a lily’s similarity to a gramophone horn simulates a music-themed composition; a common dahlia morphs into a unicorn-like beast.
Dalí admired the butterfly’s association with change or metamorphosis, both literal—its development from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly—and aesthetic—its rich spectrum of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. He likely appreciated the resonance of the Greek word “psyche,” which means both butterfly and soul. Butterflies flit across all mediums of Dalí’s late works. Two of the artist’s prints in the Museum of Botany and the Arts feature butterflies: a rose sprouts butterfly wings in Rosa papillonacea and a pair of butterflies prominently veil the private parts of Adam and Eve. In the Gardens, we’ve erected a butterfly house filled with Florida native butterflies and plants. Garden guests will experience being surrounded by colorful butterflies and their flowers while learning about the life cycle of the butterfly in our garden with wings.
Selby Gardens will present Dalí-themed lectures, performances, family programs, special tours, school curricula, and additional programs that complement the exhibition. Dalí merchandise will be for sale in the Garden Shop and food venues will offer a thematic menu.
Tickets can be purchased at the Selby Gardens’ Welcome Center. Adults are $25, member adults are free, children 4-17 are $15, and 3 and under are free.
Lead sponsors are the Amicus Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Marianne and Bill McComb, and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.