Work by Salvador Dali Found in Thrift Store
It is the stuff of dreams: You are browsing through a thrift shop, searching for bargains and you inadvertently hit the mother lode — art by a world-famous artist whose works are bought and sold for thousands, if not millions. That’s what happened recently when a shopper at a thrift store in Kitty Hawk, N.C., found a piece by the internationally famous Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Shopper Wendy Hawkins saw an otherwise ignored piece of art buried with a bunch of other paintings sitting on the floor. It was a 1950s woodcut print by Dali that was part of a series of 100 illustrations depicting Dante’s “Divine Comedy” called “Purgatory Canto 32.” It shows a woman in blue standing next to a man in red.
Dali created a series of 100 watercolor paintings — one for each chapter of Dante’s book — that were reproduced as wood engravings. Each of those required about 35 separate blocks to complete the image. Secondhand art was usually priced between $10 and $50 at the thrift store. The authenticated woodcut sold for $1,200. Proceeds from the sale of the print will go to a nonprofit that supports a shelter for runaway teens and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.