Surrealism

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Surrealism is one of the most influential art movements of the 20th century. The Surrealists explored unique ways of interpreting the world, turning to dreams and the unconscious as inspiration for a new vision. During the 1930s, the movement escaped the bounds of the radical avant-garde and transformed the wider world of design.

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Our collection illustrates how Surrealist imagery and ideas inspired designers in the fields of photography, theatre, furniture, fashion, textiles, ceramics and graphic design, and includes work by Jean Cocteau, Man Ray and Salvador Dalí among other leading Surrealists.

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Background image: Mae West Lips sofa, Salvador Dalí and Edward James, 1938 – 39, England. Museum no. W.6-2018. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London