This gallery contains paintings in oil, acrylic, and gouache. With the exception of the four acrylic paintings, all were executed before 1949. The acrylic paintings are dated in the 1960s. The oldest painting, "Puss 'n' Boots," is dated 1928, a high school freshman's first attempt at an oil painting.
The painting "Century of Progress" was one of two or three commissioned works to be made into posters for the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Worlds Fair. The others were selected to be made into posters and were kept by the client. This one was rejected and returned to the artist.
The first seven paintings in this gallery are in oil and are clearly in the surreal style of Salvador Dali. These were executed in 1943. The artist had many favorites in the worlds of fine art, illustration, and design, but Dali was closest to his soul. Dali's talents and creativity were a great source of inspiration and motivation. Besides, he loved Dali's eccentricity and showmanship.
As an odd occurrence, Salvador Dali was in Detroit in 1952 (or 1953?) and invited by General Motors to tour their Styling Section. As Chief Designer of Oldsmobile, Art Ross was honored to meet Dali and conduct the tour of the Oldsmobile studio. When the artist first learned that he was to meet Dali, he brought several oil paintings to his Olds studio, including
A Big Hand, Cold as Ice, and Hot as Hell.
Despite the crowds, the press and the executive throng, the artist did get the chance to chat with Dali in private for just a few moments and show him his own surreal paintings. Of course, Dali loved the works and was very complimentary. What else would the artist tell his friends, colleagues and family? But whatever Dali may have said, it's extraordinary nonetheless, that Dali saw these works over fifty years ago.