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December 9, 2021

When Hallmark Commissioned Salvador Dali to Create Christmas Cards for Holiday Season in 1960

Throughout its history Hallmark cards has engaged a number of prominent contemporary artists and designers to create original works for its printed products. Among the most radical partnerships was with the visionary Salvador Dali, who painted works on a number of holiday themes during the height of his international fame.

In 1948 Hallmark released the Gallery Artists line of Christmas cards, featuring works by artists throughout history including El Greco, Van Gogh, Grandma Moses, and Salvador Dali. A recent convert to Catholicism, Dali contributed devotional images of a Madonna and Child, Three Wise Men, and an angel. Although Hallmark’s initial venture into fine art was a great success overall, Dali’s images proved a bit too avant-garde for traditional consumers.

However, ten years later Hallmark commissioned Dali to design a new series of greeting cards. The painter asked for $15,000 in cash in advance for 10 greeting card designs, with no suggestions from Hallmark for the subject or medium, no deadline and no royalties.

This time, in addition to Christmas scenes, he painted images for Valentines Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. The seven watercolors feature a recurring motif of the butterfly, which Dali described as “a symbol of the soul.” These paintings reveal the increasing mysticism that would guide Dali’s art through the rest of his life.

Despite the fanfare aroused by the unlikely collaboration of Hallmark and Salvador Dali, only three of the new designs were ever printed. Undeterred, Dali created further greeting card lines for other clients in Spain and France.


  1. Are the Dali greeting card images available to buy or download???? PLEASE, say yes, and where they are available.




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