Dalí Theater Curtain Takes Center Stage

More than thirty years have ticked by on Salvador Dalí’s melting clocks since the Spanish surrealist’s massive stage curtain took the spotlight at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art. But the artistic stage decoration, originally designed for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, has just been unrolled at the museum, which received the curtain in 1976. Though it’s not yet officially on display, the unveiling has allowed the public the opportunity to see the colossal canvas via photograph and the museum the chance to decide how it can be more permanently displayed. Measuring 26.5 feet high and 49.5 feet wide, curators and conservators laid the expansive work out flat on the floor of the museum’s Hall of Sculpture. “It’s spectacular,” Carnegie’s chief curator Louise Lippincott told reporters of the work, which could seemingly make one’s moustache curl, Dalí-style. It was originally made for the Ballet Russe’s 1942 touring production of “Labyrinth,” based on the story of Theseus, who mythically defeated a Minotaur. The Carnegie’s recently unrolled acquisition shows the hero battling the half-man half-bull, but only liquefying time will tell how the public will eventually be able to take it all in.