Officials of the Monterey History and Art Association, which operates the museum at Custom House Plaza near Fishermans Wharf, announced the agreement Tuesday involving more than 500 etchings, lithographs and sculptures produced by the Spanish surrealist.
The works are owned by Dmitry Piterman, a Ukrainian-American businessman best known for his ownership of Spanish soccer teams. His is said to be the second largest private Dali collection in the United States.
Speaking in front of a sample of the works, Piterman and museum officials said they hope to launch the exhibition within a couple of months but first need to spruce up the museum and possibly add space to accommodate the collection.
Association official Marc Del Piero said the collaboration was a natural in that Dali lived in the Monterey area in the 1930s and 1940s, spending much of the time at the old Del Monte Hotel, site of several celebrity-studded events hosted by the artist. He was a founding member of the Carmel Art Association and a judge of the group’s annual competition for area high school students.
Museum officials said many of the works to be featured here have never been seen outside Spain and Belgium. Del Piero and others said their expectation is that the exhibit here will become a significant tourist draw and breathe new life into the local museum.
Despite considerable fame, even notoriety, in Europe, Piterman and his Dali at 17 Mile Drive partnership are relatively unknown here.
When he was contemplating a move into professional soccer in this country, the New York Times said Piterman had been born in Ukraine but moved the United States to attend Cal. He qualified for the Olympic trials in 1992 and 1996 as a triple jumper but failed to land a spot on the team.
The Times said Piterman saved the struggling Spanish soccer club Racing Santander by becoming president, coach, photographer and equipment manager but Spanish authorities upended the arrangement because he did hold a coaching license. He later sold his stake in the team and bought a controlling interest in another Spanish team, Alaves.