Cataloging Dalì - Art by Albert Field
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Albert Field
Cataloging Dalì



L.T.S. (Lettre dactylographiée signée) Typewritten Letter Signed by Albert Field, on letter headed paper with double heading, central “The Salvador Dalì Catalog”, top right “Compiler Albert Field, 20-25 29th Street, Astoria 5, N.Y.” addressed to the Countess Anna Laetitia Pecci -Blunt. Dated 8th March 1958. One page (27.8 x 21.5 cm). In English. Perfect condition with usual folds in the paper. With some pencil and blue ink notes by the Countess. With this letter, in formal terms and on headed paper, Albert Field, as official compiler of Dalì's work, asks to the Countess make the catalogue complete with some information concerning "Instrument masochiste" and "Ossification prèmature d'une gare", bought by the Countess in 1934. The background: While the Catalonian artist was exhibiting his work at the National Gallery in Washington, he commissioned to Albert Field the creation of his Official Catalogue of Graphic Works, a guide to the artist’s works for collectors, dealers, gallery owners and museums: an opus magnum encompassing 40 years of production and comprising 1900 illustrations, of which 1500 in color. Albert Field was Dalí’s official archivist, besides the topmost authority regarding the artist’s work, who discovered approximately 17 types of falsification, as he reported to the St. Petersburg Times in 1987. Therefore, the catalog had the function of uncovering false Dalís scattered throughout the world. Nevertheless, Dalí himself reacted to the falsification phenomenon by saying: “Someone who is subjected to forgery the way I am must really be fantastically good''. An eccentric genius like Dalí thus found a kindred spirit in Mr. Field, an English, science, and maths teacher, as well as collector of playing cards, who had a passion for nudism and rambling, and who combined all of his interests by climbing the Appalachian Trail completely naked. At the sight of “Dream of Venus”, a Surrealist house of mirrors realized in 1939 at the World Fair and again in Dalí’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1941, his attraction towards the Catalonian artist became magnetic. They met for the first time in the 1940s, and since then they would often meet on Sundays at the St. Regis Hotel, where an adulatory Field would show Dalí photographs of his works to be examined: if he detected any forgeries, the artist would write ‘falso’ (in Spanish) on their backs. It was not until 1955 that Dalí asked Mr. Field to be his official archivist, exactly one year before this letter. In this way, a mammoth cataloguing workload was entrusted to Mr. Field, who traveled around Europe at least forty times, searching for authentic Dalí’s works, determining places and provenances of prints: a true mission that he carried out until the end of his days. References: F. NICOSIA, Dalì, Il Giornale, Milano, 2006 p.122


  • Artist
    Albert Field (1916 - 2003)
  • Creation Year
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 10.91 in. x W 8.35 in. x D 0.04 in.H 27.7 cm x W 21.2 cm x D 1 mm
  • Gallery Location
    Roma, IT
  • Reference Number
  • Seller Reference Number
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About the Seller

4.8 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2017
Located in Roma, IT
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