"Greensboro College has received the gift of a Salvador Dali lithograph for its Holocaust collection from a couple who do not wish to be named.
The 20 1/16- by 15 11/16-inch print, "Thou Hast Laid Me in the Nethermost Pit," is from Dali's "Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel" portfolio. Those 25 works were commissioned by Sherwood Publishing in 1967 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Israel's founding.
"This moving and disturbing piece by Dali is a stark testament to the darkness that was the Holocaust," said Jonathon Epstein, visiting associate professor of sociology and director of the college's Holocaust Program and Document Collection.
"It is at once both troubling and intriguing and compels us to confront humanity's darkest moments and reflect upon them. It is a remarkable addition to our growing Levy-Lowenstein collection."
The lithograph is one of four in the "Aliyah" portfolio that deal with the Holocaust. The college's print is No. 103 in a run of 250. Its appraised value is $2,250.
The title comes from the King James Version translation of Psalm 88: 1-7:
O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves.
Dali, a surrealist 20th-century Spanish artist, was raised Roman Catholic and frequently used religious iconography in his works.
The gift came about as the result of a recent presentation by Epstein at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem on Greensboro College Holocaust collection and related activities. The donors attended the presentation and approached Epstein afterward to discuss giving the print to the college.
The college's Levy-Loewenstein Holocaust Collection comprises scholarly publications and artifacts pertaining to the Holocaust and related subjects. The collection, housed in the college's James Addison Jones Library, was created with a gift from Richard Levy, a former trustee, and his wife, Jane, in memory of their parents.
Plans for a reception to unveil and dedicate the piece to the college's Holocaust collection are under way.
Greensboro College, an independent, coeducational college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, is an academic and social community that unites the liberal arts and Judeo-Christian values in an atmosphere of diversity and mutual respect.
Founded in 1838 and located near downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,250 students from 32 states, the District of Columbia and 24 nations in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and four master's degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 16-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities."
- A Press Release