CVBeat: Tell us about the highly-coveted piece of artwork your museum got its hands on.
Dali Museum Director Hank Hine: We are going to be presenting this summer an amazing painting by (Salvador) Dali. It’s called “Santiago El Grande” and it’s grand in two ways. First of all, Santiago as the patron saint of Spain was very great, very important to the Spanish people. He liberated the nation of Spain from the Moors. It’s also grand in real dimension. This painting is 13 feet tall—it’s one of Dali’ largest.
CVBeat: How were you able to pull this off with so many museums in the world vying for Dali’s works?
Hank Hine: The Dali in St. Petersburg is that important. Museums are kind of a network, like a family of institutions. And the more prominent they are to that member of the family, the more they do for the public, the more resources they have, the more they can borrow and receive. We negotiated to borrow it from a Canadian institution that owns a private collection.
CVBeat: So, on a worldwide level, Dali is a very sought after artist for special exhibits. Give us an example of the impact Dali’s artwork does for a museum.
Hank Hine: As a matter of fact we just loaned 14 paintings to Paris to an exhibition that received 890,000 people in a period of three months. So 10,000 people a day were seeing this show.
CVBeat: How large is this painting compared to the others Dali created?
Hank Hine: This is the second largest painting that Dali ever made and I think with the frame it’s just overwhelming. A gold frame and a blue painting—blue sky, blue ocean and this horseman leaping out. And on the neck of the horse, the like forms, the shape of an angel which then recurs through the sky. To see it is to behold the spectacle of Santiago on his horse, almost leaping off the canvass. So it’s a surprising painting, it’s a big painting, a great painting and it’s here only until October.
CVBeat: What would you tell someone who’s already been to the museum in order to convince them to check this new painting out?
Hank Hine: Well, we always have something new at the Dali museum. Right now, we’ll have this summer this painting of Santiago. Immediately, we have 13 paintings from the National Contemporary Art Museum in Spain by Dali. That museum’s called The Reina Sofia and we borrowed 13 of their paintings, which are on view and that’s also for a few months more. If you think you’ve seen it, you’re going to see more.
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