The Theater Museum will restore Dalí’s designs

The National Museum of the Almagro Theater, dependent on the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (Inaem), will invest 40,000 euros in the restoration, cataloging and digitization of 394 textile pieces that constitute two collections of theatrical clothing acquired through the modality of donation, among which are Salvador Dalí’s designs for Don Juan Tenorio.

A laborious work that will be carried out over the next two years through DOMUS, a computerized system for documentation and museum management derived from the Museum Documentary Standardization project undertaken by the General Sub-Directorate of State Museums. The budget for this purpose is 20,000 euros in 2021 and the same amount for the year 2022.

The work to be carried out will consist of the documentary and historical study of the textile pieces, their cataloging in DOMUS with control of signatures and order, digitization, numbering of the pieces through their labeling, cleaning treatments and textile restoration (deacidification, consolidation, repair of breaks …), and elaboration of a final report.

Shirts, pants, dresses, bodices, shawls, vests, skirts, capes, tunics, ponchos, hats and headdresses are part of these two collections of theatrical clothing. The first is composed of costumes by Pedro Moreno on costumes by Salvador Dalí, corresponding to the assembly of Don Juan Tenorio directed by Ángel Fernández Montesinos in 2003. A donation from the Centro Dramático Nacional.

a collection with history. In 1949, Luis Escobar proposed to stage an innovative version of Don Juan Tenorio, by José Zorrilla. To achieve this end, he did not hesitate to commission the realization of the sets and costumes to Salvador Dalí. The play was premiered at the María Guerrero Theater in Madrid on November 1, 1949, under the stage direction of Luis Escobar and Huberto Pérez de la Ossa. Subsequently, there were two reruns with hardly any innovations, one was at the María Guerrero Theater, on November 3, 1950, and the last at the Spanish Theater, on October 30, 1964. In addition, in 1952 a film version was made, directed by Alejandro Perla.

The purpose of the project was to modernize the staging of the Tenorio, adjusting to the original and enhancing the fantastic-religious character that the playwright himself indicated for his drama. In the words of Luis Escobar, they wanted to “dust off custom” from a work known to the majority of the public, so that it would give the impression of being on stage for the first time.

In 2003, from the discovery of some figurines and sketches of scenery, documentaries and photographic archive materials of the time, Ángel Fernández Montesinos, with the collaboration of Wolfang Burmann in the set design and Pedro Moreno for costumes and masks, recovered this theatrical show , showing for the first time the complete costumes designed by Dalí and recovering masks that were unpublished in those productions.

The rest of the costumes to be restored and digitized is part of a collection from the Martín Theater, a donation made in its day by Ana María García Miranda to the National Theater Museum, which houses some 1,500 pieces of clothing dated from the early 19th century to the present .


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