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Leisure hosting: Dali & Gala

(Added 8 October 2007)

Salvador Dali, Surrealist Forest, Del Monte Lodge Hotel, Pebble Beach, September 4, 1941 (Corbis/Bettman-UPI)

Aftermath: Dali in Hollywood (1941)

When Salvador Dali returned to the United States during World War II he was unwelcome in the New York circle of Surrealists in exile. He settled on the West Coast, and created theatrical, hybrid events that liberally borrowed from past surrealist installations.

Dali & Gala’s 1941 Surrealist Forest event at the Del Monte Lodge Hotel, Pebble Beach, California was a crazy indulgent event that really explored the spectacular aesthetic of salon social culture – pictured here is a forest of oversize animal-manikins, banquet table and guests Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Ginger Rogers.

The décor for the event featured 5000 empty sugar bags (a sweeter version of Marcel Duchamp’s original instalaltion of 1200 cioal bags at the 1938 Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme) a nude “Sleeping Beauty on a bedy of gardenias, an ivy garlanded nude model in a wrecked Chevrolet, 24 mannequins topped by animal props loaned by a local film studio.

-_Displaying The Marvelous_, Lewis Kachur, MIT Press, 2001

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