WILLIAMSVILLE, NY.- A collection of original Salvador Dali drawings sequestered in a bank vault in downtown Buffalo, New York for more than three decades and completely unknown to the art world is about to emerge from the confines of its safe deposit boxes.
The hidden treasure 15 original drawings executed in Dali books, sketchpads and a photography catalog was a gift to the late Dr. Edmund Klein, who lived in a suburb of Buffalo and secretly treated Salvador Dali, the famed Surrealist Master, for what is believed to be some form of a skin disorder strongly suspected as cancer.
Dr. Klein was a renowned dermatologist and skin cancer expert, who won the Albert Lasker Award, the most coveted award in American medicine. His widow, Martha Klein, says that in 1972 the famous painters manager phoned the Klein home announcing it was Salvador Dali calling for Dr. Klein.
That phone conversation led to many meetings between Dr. Klein and Dali, often at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, where Dali stayed during the winter months. His home was on the Costa Brava in Spain, and doctor and patient met there at times, too.
Over the course of some 10-plus years, Dali who did not compensate Dr. Klein by conventional payment methods paid him in original Dali art.
Edmund adored Dali and had a great appreciation of those sketches, Mrs. Klein, 76, remembers. I cannot even imagine his state of mind as he sat there and Dali drew and explained to him exactly what each one meant. Each work is inscribed in some manner to Dr. Klein, who died in 1999 at age 77. Dali died in 1989 at age 84.
After keeping the drawings and sketches, plus one original sculpture, safe in a bank vault for all these years, Mrs. Klein and her children have decided to put the unique collection on the market. They have been completely unknown to the art market, until now.
Theres a delightful angel theme running throughout most of the works, because Dali told my husband he considered him his guardian angel for the medical help and advice he gave him, Mrs. Klein says.