In Time with Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali Crystal FX

Surrealist artist Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory is one of the most recognized works of the 20th century. Examine this painting and create your own interpretation of time inspired by the famous melting clocks portrayed in this masterpiece.

  • 1.

    Salvador Dali was a famous Spanish artist. He created many works over his life in a variety of mediums. His art and often his behavior were seen by many as eccentric. Research the life and art of Dali.

  • 2.

    Examine Salvador Dali’s painting, The Persistence of Memory. List the different elements, colors and images in the painting. Describe the emotions they evoke.

  • 3.

    Look closely at the melting clocks. What do you think they represent? Is time something you see as flexible? Why or why not?

  • 4.

    Create your own interpretation of how you see time passing. Using the painting as inspiration, use Crystal Effects Window Markers to decorate the face of a clock, a window, a mirror or another smooth surface. If you use a surface other than a clock, draw the face of a clock on the surface before you begin working on the project.

  • 5.

    Does time seem to stop or freeze for you sometimes? Do some days never seem to end? Have you ever said “Where did the day go?” Think of a way to interpret these feelings through images drawn on the clock. Use a variety of colors, lines and pictures to express your views on time. Share your clock with the class. What do your ideas have in common? How are they unique?

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Dali and the Path of Dreams by Anna Obiolis; Salvador Dali by Mike Venezia; Katie and the Spanish Princess by James Mayhew; Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl & Kim Solga
  • Students research the life of Salvador Dali and the evolution of his art. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.
  • Students research the cultural movement known as surrealism in the 1920s. What city was considered the center of the movement? What earlier movement did surrealism grow out of? What artists are associated with this style of art? Select one or two visual art pieces from this movement and analyze it. Organize research and visual art selections into an electronic presentation for classmates.
  • Identify an artist, other than Salvador Dali, who is associated with surrealism. Conduct an in-depth investigation into the life and professional career of this artist and prepare a presentation for classmates.