Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination

  • Visual arts
  • San Francisco
  • Fri, Jul 10, 2015 —
    Sun, Jan 03, 2016
Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination

The exhibition tells the story of the unlikely alliance between two of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century: brilliantly eccentric Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí and American entertainment innovator Walt Disney.

Presented through an interactive multimedia experience of original paintings, story sketches, conceptual artwork, objects, correspondences, archival film, photographs, and audio —many of which highlight work from Disney studio artists Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, John Hench, Kay Nielsen, and more— this comprehensive exhibition showcases two vastly different icons who were drawn to each other through their unique personalities, their mutual admiration, and their collaboration on the animated short Destino. Although the film was not completed during their lifetimes, the friendship between these two great men nevertheless endured.

The friendship between Disney and Dalí was born out of the mutual admiration of two visionary artists and sustained by the simple kinship of two small town boys on a never-ending quest to broaden the horizons of art. Their influence reverberates all around us —in films, television, stage, advertising, fashion, and art. Through dedicated work, ingenious self-promotion, and their singular artistic visions, their names and art are forever fused in our collective imagination.

About the curator

Writer-director Ted Nicolaou studied filmmaking at the University of Texas under the mentorship of Rod Whitaker, the shadowy novelist also known as Trevanian, writing and directing the Student Academy Award nominated apocalyptic comedy Southern Hospitality. Nicolaou’s most recent feature film is the inspirational docu-drama about the worldwide Ananda yoga communities, Finding Happiness.


Venue map

The Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94129


More information

Walt Disney Family Museum


Organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum, in cooperation with The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation in Figueres, Spain, and The Walt Disney Studios.



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