Philippe Halsman, Salvador Dalí "Dali Atomicus" (1948) - United States Library of Congress

study days

The Weird and Wonderful World of Surrealism

  • Tuesday 17 October 2017
    (11am - 4.30pm)
  • Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
  • Lecturer: Dr Jacqueline Cockburn

‘Surrealism is destructive but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.’ (Salvador Dali). In 1924 writers and artists came together to explore ways of expressing themselves which countered the logic of Cubism. During this Study Day, we will consider paintings, objects, photographs, drawings and collage examining the many exploratory ways artists experimented to make visible and tangible sense of the invisible or subliminal world. We will look at artists and writers who influenced the Surrealists going all the way back to Bosch’s extraordinary visions and awareness of another world. Breton and Dali, their meetings with Freud and their contribution to the movement will also be discussed. Finally we will consider Surrealism and its legacies.


Dr Jacqueline Cockburn is a course director and lecturer at the V&A and also lectures at The Royal Academy, the Art Fund, Artscapades, the London Art History Society, The Arts Society and a number of private institutions. Jacqueline is Managing Director of Art and Culture Andalucía. She has recently published A Taste of Art, London (Unicorn Press, 2019).

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