DREAM SCORE FIND, SALVADORE DALI WOOD ENGRAVING PRINT IN NORTH CAROLINA THRIFT STORE
So you must know who Salvador Dalí is, right? The Spanish surrealist painter? The guy with the crazy, iconic mustache? Yeah, you know Salvador Dalí. But a thrift store owner did NOT know the famous artist’s work, that’s for sure. We know that to be true because someone went shopping at the Hotline Pink Thrift Shop, located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. And that someone was Wendy Hawkins. Pretty much everyone dreams of making such a find. But Wendy realized the dream in transcendent fashion. She was looking at paintings sitting in a line on the floor and noticed this one in particular. It turns out, it was a wood engraving print by the Spanish painter.
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THRIFT STORE VOLUNTEER FOUND MASTER SURREALIST PAINTER’S WORK SITTING ON THE FLOOR
So to be fair, Wendy volunteers at the store two days a week. So she had her feet on the ground to make such a find. But how much did this little Dalí gem cost her? Oh, somewhere between 10 and 50 bucks. Yeah, you read that right. The print is one part of a series of 100 such that illustrate The Divine Comedy. You know the one by Dante? But Salvador Dalí made this one back in the 1950’s. And yes, he even signed it. Italy commissioned him to make the series to honor Dante’s birthday 6 decades ago. But locals were pretty angry that they hired a Spaniard to cover an Italian’s work. So Italy cancelled the commission.
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But Dalí was a consummate artist and completed the project on his own. He finished with 100 watercolor paintings and had them reproduced as wood engravings. But each needed 35 separate blocks to create each print! This print has the title, “Purgatory Canto 32.” And as you can see, it depicts a woman in blue next to a man in red. It took a week to authenticate the piece. A gallery just down the street has sold it $1,200. The proceeds will all help fund a shelter for runaway teens and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Sadly, we’ll never know who parted ways with the Dalí piece and left it at a thrift shop. Quite often, people drop things off in the middle of the night.