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Dali Clocks

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When you mention Salvador Dali, the most common image people see is The Persistence of Memory, or "the melting clock painting," as it's often known. Dali painted it in 1931. When I was a kid, I thought that was the coolest painting ever! And I wanted a melting clock. Of course, I'm not the only one to think that. I wrote a post on a melting clock for sale at Neatorama last week, and got several people responding that they know someone else who makes those. So I went to find out how many different versions of melting clocks are avilable for sale on the internet.

Cincinnati artist Hilary Wiezbenski sells these melting wall clocks in several shapes and many colors, and you can have your clock embellished with an ant or fly if you like.
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More Dali clocks, after the jump.

Even the hands are twisted in this Salvador Dali Clock, but they are longer than normal to make it easy to read anyway.
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The Vertigo Distorted Wall Clock has a shape I've seen for sale in several places.

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The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida sells this wall clock inspired by Dali's 1954 painting The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory, a "sequel" to his earlier work.
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Digital Dali takes the idea of the melting clock into the digital age! This clock by Normal Design can rest of the edge of any horizontal surface.
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Talaria Enterprises sells several styles of Dali watches, with the artist's signature engraved on the back.
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The Cartier Crash Watch was first introduced in 1967, and released as a limited edition in 1991. It looks like a Dali inspiration, but the story on Cartier's website is even more interesting. It's patterned after a watch that had been distorted in a car crash!
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The Dali Clock widget can be downloaded free for your computer desktop. It's not distorted, but the digits melt as they change into new digits, and the colors change, too! You can also get a Dali Clock screensaver, which keeps the time in an artistic manner as it saves your screen.
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If you'd rather make your own melting clock, you can do just that with an old vinyl album and step-by-step directions from Instructables. Now that music is played from CDs and MP3s, you don't have to settle for an album you hate, either. Go ahead and use one that shows your personality!
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Dali named his masterpiece well. 76 years later, we all remember The Persistence of Memory.

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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
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‘American Gothic’ Became Famous Because Many People Saw It as a Joke
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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In 1930, Iowan artist Grant Wood painted a simple portrait of a farmer and his wife (really his dentist and sister) standing solemnly in front of an all-American farmhouse. American Gothic has since inspired endless parodies and is regarded as one of the country’s most iconic works of art. But when it first came out, few people would have guessed it would become the classic it is today. Vox explains the painting’s unexpected path to fame in the latest installment of the new video series Overrated.

According to host Phil Edwards, American Gothic made a muted splash when it first hit the art scene. The work was awarded a third-place bronze medal in a contest at the Chicago Art Institute. When Wood sold the painting to the museum later on, he received just $300 for it. But the piece’s momentum didn’t stop there. It turned out that American Gothic’s debut at a time when urban and rural ideals were clashing helped it become the defining image of the era. The painting had something for everyone: Metropolitans like Gertrude Stein saw it as a satire of simple farm life in Middle America. Actual farmers and their families, on the other hand, welcomed it as celebration of their lifestyle and work ethic at a time when the Great Depression made it hard to take pride in anything.

Wood didn’t do much to clear up the work’s true meaning. He stated, "There is satire in it, but only as there is satire in any realistic statement. These are types of people I have known all my life. I tried to characterize them truthfully—to make them more like themselves than they were in actual life."

Rather than suffering from its ambiguity, American Gothic has been immortalized by it. The country has changed a lot in the past century, but the painting’s dual roles as a straight masterpiece and a format for skewering American culture still endure today.

Get the full story from Vox below.

[h/t Vox]

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“Dissension” by Tobias Rothe. Original image courtesy Fondazione Federico Zeri/Università di Bologna // CC-BY 3.0
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Get Your GIFs Ready for This International Public Domain GIF-Making Competition
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“Dissension” by Tobias Rothe. Original image courtesy Fondazione Federico Zeri/Università di Bologna // CC-BY 3.0

Excellent GIF-making skills can serve you beyond material for your clever tweets. Each year, a group of four digital libraries from across the world hosts GIF IT UP, a competition to find the best animated image sourced from public domain images from their archives.

The competition is sponsored by Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), New Zealand’s DigitalNZ, and the National Library of Australia’s Trove, all of which host millions of public domain works. The requirements are that the source material must be in the public domain, have a 'no known copyright restrictions' statement, or have a Creative Commons license that allows its reuse. The material must also come from one of the sponsored sources. Oh, and judging by the past winners, it helps if it’s a little whimsical.

The image above won the grand prize in 2015. And this was a runner-up in 2016:

via GIPHY

This year’s prizes haven’t been announced yet (although Europeana says there will be a new one for first-time GIF makers), but last year’s grand prize winner got their own Giphoscope, and runners-up got $20 gift cards. (Turns out, there’s not a lot of money in public domain art.)

Not an expert GIFer yet? You can always revisit the audio version of DPLA’s advanced GIF-making tutorial from last year.

The fourth-annual GIF IT UP contest opens to submissions October 1.

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