By Joe F. Bodenstein, Cadaqués
Captain John Peter Moore cared for other artists at his Moore Art Academy at Cadaqés/Port Lligat. He brought together different generations of artists. The photograph shows the Captain (center) with the surrealist Angel Planells and the Russian painter Genia Chef. The painter Planells was a friend of Dalí since his youth.
Port Lligat/Berlin/New York (bpb) The most important manager of the artist Salvador Dalí, John Peter Moore, is dead. He died in his home on the Costa Brava in Spain, during the night of December 27, 2005, at the age of 86 years. "My husband died peacefully", said Moore's widow, Catherine Perrot-Moore in an interview with the Internet Bulletin "Prometheus". Moore has lived for more than 30 years on an estate on top of a hill, from where he could look on the house of Dalí (1904-1989). The artist has always called the former Secret Service officer in the British Navy "Captain".
Moore and his wife have founded their own Museum in Cadaqués. It was opened in 1978 by Gala and Salvador Dalí. For nearly two decades, the Brit Peter Moore belonged to the most loyal advisors of Dalí. The surrealist marketed with the help of Moore his artworks in Europe, USA and East Asia. This way, through the many different aspects of his art--original graphics, sculptures, perfumes and jewelry items--Dalí became the most popular surrealist of the 20th century.
The idea for a Dalí Museum in Figueras, and the construction of Dalí's country castle Pubol, were designed and developed jointly with Moore. "I see myself as a motor and a transformer of the ideas of the Master", said modestly the elegant Brit. He arranged many international exhibitions, among others in New York, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Paris, Rome, and also in Japan. During the time of his service, Dalí sat model to his artist-friend Arno Breker for a portrait-bust. Three variations were the result, and Dalí said with enchantment: "Breker has captured my soul".
The wonderful Catherine Perrott-Moore (wife of the Captain) worked for many years side by side with Moore for the Dalí Empire. At the "time of the Master's Glory" she also arranged exhibitions for young artists who were considered as "great talents" by Dalí. In the photo: the Russian painter Genia Chef (in his Rasputin-like look) with Catherine Perrot-Moore. She is now the widow of Dalí's secretary Peter Moore. She is holding in her hands a small painting by Genia Chef: "Benito Mussolini on a Horse". The painting is done in the surrealistic style of Dalí.
Even after their business separation, Moore and Dalí kept in contact. Eventually, according to Moore, there emerged intrigues against him by Dalí's new advisor, and Moore felt himself victimized. Accusations against Moore concerning allegedly controversial art editions and even "falsifications" led to legal disputes. Peter Moore outlived his "Boss" by 16 years. Several years before his death, Moore auctioned off in Paris the major part of his outstanding collection of Dalí's works. This way, Dalí's collections around the world came to acquire rare pieces.
The mortal body of John Peter Moore lies in a chapel in the cemetery of Cadaqués. According to his wish, the was buried in the presence of only a few of his closest friends. His widow Catherine is one of the few eye-witnesses who has known Dalí personally for over 20 years. Thus, more than anyone else in the world today, she has 'insider's knowledge" about the genius of Dalí, who is celebrated worldwide as the "Divine Dalí".
© PROMETHEUS 103/2006
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science. Nr. 103, JANUARY 2006