In 1966, Samuel Shore, head of Shorewood Publishers in New York, commissioned Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Such a commission was not uncommon for the artist. In fact, from approximately 1965 to 1979, the artist’s output was largely comprised of painted works on paper, completed on commission and made expressly for production as limited-edition prints.
The Shore commission was for a series of twenty-five paintings depicting the renewal of the Jewish people. Dalí completed his mixed media paintings in gouache, watercolour, and Indian ink on paper; the paintings were then reproduced as lithographs and published in a limited edition of 250 sets of twenty-five lithographs each. Dalí took inspiration from both the Hebrew Bible as well as contemporary history to address a variety of subject matter related to Jewish history and diaspora, spanning the course of over 2,000 years. Titled Aliyah, a Hebrew word that literally means ‘migration to the land of Israel’, the series was completed in 1968 in time for the celebration of Israeli Independence Day on April 3. Following their exhibition in 1968 the paintings and prints were offered for sale and dispersed; there are only a handful of complete sets known today. This rare complete set is shown for the first time since its acquisition by the Meadows Museum in 2017.
The set was generously given to the Museum by Linda P. and William A. Custard in celebration of Meadows Museum advisory council member Janet Pollman Kafka, and her twentieth year as Honorary Consul of Spain in Dallas.