Dr. Robert Thune (a former Resident in Internal Medicine at Saint Joseph Hospital) and Mrs. Penelope Paik Thune have donated Salvador Dalí’s sculpture Christ of St. John of the Cross, based on his painting of the same name, to the Creighton University Health Sciences Library in 2002.
From the original mold, 900 pieces were produced, covered with platinum, gold, silver, and bronze; this is one of 250 executed in silver. The 18” by 30” wall sculpture is displayed in the large viewing case near the entrance to the library.
After Dalí had a vision of the Resurrection, he saw drawings of a very similar vision by 16th-century Spanish monk Saint John of the Cross. Presenting Christ’s sacrifice in terms of triumphant ecstasy, as the beginning of eternal life and universal salvation, Dalí shows Christ ascending into Heaven, viewed from above as if by the Eye of God the Father. On the shore in the lower left is the Boat of Salvation; on the right is a fisherman leading a child, calling to mind both Peter, the fisherman who was called to carry forth the Word of the Lord into the world, and Dalí, who saw himself as having a mission to represent the Word in art.
The geometric arrangement suggests the diagram of an atom with Christ’s head as the nucleus, symbolizing Christ as the basic element of the universe.
(This description was adapted from material published by the Center Art Gallery in Honolulu, Hawaii, which represented Dalí in the distribution of this work.)
Dr. Robert and Mrs. Penelope Paik Thune donated Lincoln in Dalivision, a signed lithograph, to the Health Sciences Library in 2005.
It is an eleven-color lithograph, collograph and etching. It is one great work woven from many visual symbols.
At first close up glance we see Gala, Dali's wife of over 40 years gazing through a cubist window at a striking sunset. Peering into the sunset we are able to make out yet another image, that of the crucifixion.
Now we stand back to take it all in and the figures and symbols come together to make up the face and shoulders of Abraham Lincoln, the sunset becoming the fatal wound.
Along with the print Dali has provided a Fresnel reduction lens presented in a jewel box, which enables one to view the work as a whole.
It has been said that in Dali's mind the Crucifixion of Jesus and the assassination of Lincoln are parallel to each other; both men struck down in the beginning of their life's work. Some even say that this is Dali's ultimate work.
A signed, numbered print of Salvador Dalí's 1955 painting, The Last Supper, was donated to the Health Sciences Library in 2002 by Dr. Robert Thune and Mrs. Penelope Paik Thune.
Jacqueline Trescott of the Washington Post described The Last Supper in the following way. "Dalí painted his vision of this religious gathering in 1955, at a time when he was deeply preoccupied with mysticism. It was immediately controversial, because of Dali's larger-than-life eccentricity and the work's blend of science and religion. In the painting, the central Christ figure looks at the viewer over the cluster of bowed figures. Behind him is a design of four windowpanes with a figure of a man's outstretched torso rising into the sky and the heavens are shot with a brilliant light. Dalí said the work was an 'arithmetic and philosophical cosmogony based on the paranoiac sublimity of the number twelve. . . . The pentagon contains microcosmic man: Christ.'"