A Christmas card Dali made for the Hallmark card company is part of the Dali exhibit currently running at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. An article in the St. Petersburg Independent in December of 2011 tells the story of Dali’s Christmas card. In 1959 an art dealer met with Salvador Dali in his St. Regis hotel suite in New York to explore the possibility of Dali creating designs for various holiday cards . The dealer placed a few calls to different greeting card companies but only Hallmark would agree to Dali’s terms. He wanted a $15,000 cash advance, no restrictions put on the medium he used or the subjects he depicted, and no deadline for his work. A Hallmark representative arrived shortly with the cash and the contract.
Dali retired to the bathroom of his suite where he kept his easels and art supplies and set feverishly to work. He appeared a few hours later with brush and pen creations he declared some of his greatest work. But they were only half finished. Dali left for his home in Port Ligat Spain and forwarded ten completed works in a paper bag to the dealer in New York some time later. Hallmark only deemed two of them suitable for Christmas cards and rushed them into production so they would reach store shelves by Christmas 1960. But people wouldn’t buy them and they became so controversial Hallmark eventually pulled them from the shelves.
Later Dali designed a series of Christmas cards for the Hoechst Iberia company in Barcelona. They became quite popular in Spain.
If you’d like to see one of Dali’s Hallmark Christmas cards in person visit the Dali exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It will remain in Winnipeg till January 31.
Other posts about Dali……