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Is this a first in print photograph? We are not sure. This photograph was taken by George Platt Lynes, and it was part of the surrealist painter, Salvador Dali’s ” The Dream of Venus” show. It was on display at the Midway in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair. This photograph is from issue number 5, the World’s Fair Issue of U. S. Camera from our collection. Who ate the lobster?

We received a nice comment from Jan van der Donk at Studio Montespecchio (see our blogroll) telling me about an exhibition 10 years ago at his New York Gallery with the following press release:

DALI UNDERWATER
Devotees of Salvador Dalí and the history of Surrealism in America are flocking to Jan Van der Donk Rare Books on the 12th floor of the Starrett Lehigh Building (601 West 26th Street) in New York’s Chelsea district. On view is a selection of previously unexhibited vintage press photos by Eric Schaal (1905-1994) of Dalí’s bizarre Dream of Venus pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Dalí’s Surrealist gesamtkunstwerk featured a 30-foot-tall glass tank filled with water and containing a piano, huge melting-watch mural, a rubber mermaid and more. The pavilion was closed after one day due to protests over the presence of topless “Living Liquid Ladies” cavorting underwater in the tank. The pavilion was produced by a consortium that included Dalí’s dealer Julian Levy, collector Edward James, the William Morris theatrical agency and a theatrical display company from Long Island City. A new book of Schaal’s portraits fromWeidle Verlag is also available.

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