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Declaration of the independence of imagination and the rights of man to his own madness

Pamphlet
1939 (printed)
Artist/Maker

Salvador Dalí wrote this declaration after his experience creating a pavilion for the 1939 New York World's fair. The 'Dream of Venus' pavilion was a Surrealist undersea grotto where semi naked women performed in tanks playing piano and milking cows amongst other suitably surreal activities. The image on this pamphlet of Botticelli’s Venus with the head of a fish was Dalí’s original idea for the Pavilion’s entrance. However, the design was rejected by the Fair’s organisers who stated “‘A woman with the head of a fish is impossible” and replaced it with a simple reproduction of Venus. Believing that his artistic vision had been unacceptably compromised, Dalí responded by producing this pamphlet berating the Fair’s organisers and rallying against mediocrity in art by consensus.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Brief description
Pamphlet 'Declaration of the independence of imagination and the rights of man to his own madness'. Salvador Dalí, 1939.
Physical description
[4] p. : ill.
Dimensions
  • Height: 382mm
  • Width: 223mm (closed)
  • Width: 443mm (open)
Style
Associations
Summary
Salvador Dalí wrote this declaration after his experience creating a pavilion for the 1939 New York World's fair. The 'Dream of Venus' pavilion was a Surrealist undersea grotto where semi naked women performed in tanks playing piano and milking cows amongst other suitably surreal activities. The image on this pamphlet of Botticelli’s Venus with the head of a fish was Dalí’s original idea for the Pavilion’s entrance. However, the design was rejected by the Fair’s organisers who stated “‘A woman with the head of a fish is impossible” and replaced it with a simple reproduction of Venus. Believing that his artistic vision had been unacceptably compromised, Dalí responded by producing this pamphlet berating the Fair’s organisers and rallying against mediocrity in art by consensus.
Other numbers
  • L.1979-1981 - NAL accession number
  • 95.RR.24 - NAL Pressmark
Collection
Library number
38041800859019

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Record createdMarch 4, 2015
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