Salvador Dalí comes to Tyler

Lamoureaux Gallery may appear unassuming from its shop front on West Ferguson Street  in downtown Tyler, but original works by renowned masters are inside. From now through Jan. 3, the gallery hosts The Cook Collection, which includes original works by Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Anatole Krasnyansky and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which are for auction through the duration of the exhibition.

“I have an addiction to Salvador Dalí … But the whole point of this is to draw awareness to the Susan G Komen Foundation,” said Glenn Cook about his collection for viewing and for auction at Lamoureaux Gallery in downtown Tyler. 📷 courtesy Glenn Cook

The works are from the private collection of Glenn Cook, owner of Tyler DIY Homes. Cook has courted a decades-long fascination with Dalí and surrealism. 

“​​I started collecting Dalí about 20 years ago when I first saw “The Persistence of Memory.” That is obviously the one that gets us all addicted at first, of course, being the melting clocks.

“And then I really got into the history. For example, the melting clocks: Dalí got that idea from watching cheese melt on a plate. And I just became fascinated with learning the history and the stories behind all the works,” Cook said.

Gallery owner Leo Lamoureaux said exhibitions like The Cook Collection are rare, especially outside of New York and San Francisco. 

Leo Lamoureaux sits among original Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir originals, as well as East Texas visual artists’ works at his gallery in downtown Tyler. 📷 Chris French

“It’s a really unique opportunity that you won’t see in a small town, typically. For the community to really see and understand the value that we have here with the Dalís and a Picasso and a few others is really a lifetime experience.”

Proceeds from the auction will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Cook hopes to raise $10,000 for Susan G. Komen in auction sales with the intent to find corporate sponsors to match the amount.

Cook’s collection is on display and for auction until Jan 3 at Lamoureaux Gallery. 📷 Chris French

Cook said his collection’s exhibit and auction is foremost about the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “That’s the only reason they’re up for sale. “That’s what this is really all about. And yes, I have an addiction to Salvador Dalí. I’m going to continue to have that addiction. But the whole point of this is to draw awareness to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”

Among Cook’s Dalís on display are a set of 12 silver coins, commissioned by the nation of Israel in 1973 for its 25th anniversary. Israel minted 5,733 of the coins, corresponding to the year 1973 by the Hebrew calendar. Each coin in the set of 12 refers to a tribe of Israel. 

Dalí’s 12 silver coins, commissioned by the nation of Israel, depict the 12 tribes of Israel. Dalí added his signature surrealist images to each coin.

“The coins are my prize possessions,” Cook said. “On the front of each coin is the menorah and Dalí’s signature. On the back of each coin is the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel and an illustration Dalí created using verses from the book of Deuteronomy.”

Dalí took liberties, adding surrealist touches to his depictions of the tribes of Israel. The coin of Dan, for example, includes a snake wearing a halo, a horse with wings and a man having fallen from the horse. 

Alongside The Cook Collection at Lamoureaux Gallery are surrealist works by local artist Colton Edelman-McCoy, a senior at Tyler Legacy High School. 📷 Chris French

The exhibition also incorporates a multitude of visual art and jewelry from East Texas artists, including Gladewater area artists Brenda Brandon and Kathy Murphy. “They are amazing artists … selling art all over the world. They looked at our little spot here and said, ‘Yeah, we want to support you,’”Lamoureaux said.  

Handmade jewelry by East Texas artist Coriander N. Vega of Morraha Designs is displayed and for sale at Lamoureaux Gallery alongside The Cook Collection. 📷 Chris French

Lamoureaux, owner of Lamoureaux Gallery and Mosaic Venues, hails most recently from New York City. He made Tyler his home when a recent visit to check his rental property was delayed. An auspicious moment to engage with local artists ensued.

“The ice storm hit, so I couldn’t leave Tyler and I couldn’t finish [the work on a rental home],” Lamoureaux said. “I started meeting people that were out and about. There were a bunch of us that said, ‘Well, we don’t have a place to go anywhere.’ 

“So I thought, ‘Well, why don’t I do a pop-up show for both art and some music?’ It took off so well that I stayed another month … One thing led to another and we just started growing after that.”

East Texas artists are featured at Lamoureaux Gallery alongside The Cook Collection. Lamoureaux envisions his space, Mosaic Venues, as a gathering place and creative outlet for arts of every genre, including music, dance, fashion and visual art. 📷 Chris French

In addition to gathering local visual art, Lamoureaux uses his space to host numerous gatherings to showcase other artistic genres, including music, comedy, fashion and dance.

“It’s important for people to know how they feel about their passion, whether it’s dancing or art, drawing or music. We’ve met so many people. It means so much to them that they have a place to do that and to have an outlet.

“How can I help others feel like there are people that appreciate their art? This

was a way that seemed just very natural to open up and do and work with. And I found a lot of people that really appreciated me accepting and allowing them to present their artwork,” Lamoureaux said.

“It seems like we’ve all become an outlier family. The ones appreciating, they might be a little bit outside that frame of normal, but they’re loving it.”

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Jane Neal is the executive director of The Tyler Loop and storytelling director of Out of the Loop: True Stories about Tyler and East Texas. In addition to the Loop, she works at the Literacy Council of Tyler and attends Sam Houston State University remotely, where she studies sociology. Jane is a certified interfaith spiritual guide. She is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 33 and a former teacher of French at Robert E. Lee High School, where she ran a storytelling program called Senior Stories. Jane and her husband Don have four children.