Flummoxed by the art world's moustached genius? Wonder where the "mad man" got his inspiration?
A series of five monthly talks at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg might just make you as knowledgeable about Salvador Dalí and his melting clocks as the docents who lead museumgoers through the galleries. In fact, Peter Tush, the museum's curator of education and docent instructor, will lead the talks, distilled from the longer training course for the museum's docents.
The Dalí Condensed series begins at 6 p.m. Jan. 10 with an hourlong lecture titled "Tantrum & Reckless Youth Years," focusing on the artist in the 1910s and 1920s. The talk will likely include much about Dalí's seminal years in Spain's Costa Brava region, chiefly the seaside city of Cadaques, where his parents had a summer home. The hallmark rocky coastline there and animal-like rock formations found their way into many of Dalí's paintings.
The five talks, all at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, will cover Dalí's life and career chronologically, spanning from the 1910s to the 1980s, when his reputation as an eccentric prankster was at its height. The remaining schedule:
• "Master of Madness Madrid & Early Surrealism," (mid 1920s – mid 1930s), Feb. 14
• "Hallucinatory Hollywood Late Surrealism & America," (mid 1930s – mid 1940s), March 14
• "Mad Science Nuclear Mysticism," (late 1940s–1950s), April 11
• "Merry Prankster Mature Work," (1960s–1980s), May 9
The lectures will be in the Dalí Museum Theater at the museum, on the downtown waterfront near the Mahaffey Theater and Albert Whitted Airport. Admission is $5 (members free), or free with discounted Thursday night museum admission ($10). The series will be recorded for broadcast on the museum's YouTube site youtube.com/dalimuseum. For more information, call (727) 823-3767 or go to thedali.org.