Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Plans Playful Exploration of Salvador Dalí’s Floral Images

  • SARASOTA, Florida
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  • July 15, 2019

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Salvador Dalí, Rosa papillonacea (Butterfly Rose), 1968. Collection of The Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, FL (USA) 2019; © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, (ARS), 2019

Mind-bending floral works by surrealist master Salvador Dalí will form the foundation of a vibrant new exhibit and garden installation at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind will be on view exclusively at Selby Gardens from Feb. 9 through June 30, 2020.

The lithographic series FlorDalí, on loan from The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, will anchor the exhibit. American photographer Clyde Butcher’s series Visions of Dalí’s Spain will also be on view, along with artifacts and photos that put the artist’s life, work and relationship with nature into context. Additional Dalí works will be on loan from Sarasota collector Keith D. Monda. 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 is curated by Carol Ockman, Ph.D., curator at large for Selby Gardens and the Robert Sterling Clark professor of art history at Williams College. It is the fourth installment of the ongoing, popular Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series at Selby Gardens, which explores the rich connections between nature and the arts.

Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind will provide a fresh and playful perspective on one of the most famous artists of the 20th century,” says Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “We are thrilled to partner with the Dalí Museum, Clyde Butcher and Keith Monda to bring this exhibition to life in our living museum.”

Gardens of the Mind highlights Spanish artist Dalí’s repeated use of botanical imagery alongside a surreal display of tropical plants in Selby Gardens’ Tropical Conservatory and gardens. The series FlorDalí, 1968, 1969, and 1981 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. Photos of Dalí’s beloved Catalonia by renowned nature photographer and Sarasota County resident Clyde Butcher will showcase the extraordinary landscapes visible in several FlorDalí pieces and in much of Dalí’s art. 


The immersive Goldstein Exhibition Series explores the use of nature and flowers by major artists. Past Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibitions include Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams; Warhol: Flowers in the Factory; and Gauguin: Voyage to Paradise. These master works of art seen in a garden setting awaken new comparisons in viewers’ minds.

Admission to Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind is included with all-access admission to Selby Gardens: $25 adults; $15 children 4-17; free for members.

Salvador Dalí, Marguerite (Chrysanthemum frutescens) FlorDalí, 1968. Collection of The Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, FL (USA) 2019; © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, (ARS), 2019

Selby Gardens will present Dalí-themed lectures, performances, family programs, special tours, school curricula and additional programs that complement the exhibition. A full schedule of events will be available later this year at

Tags: european art

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