DREAMS can be images or stories you experience at night when you sleep, or they can be your HOPES and WISHES. What dreams do you have for yourself? 

Surrealist artists like Salvador Dalí and René Magritte are known for taking elements from everyday life and arranging them in unexpected ways. These strange scenes are often called “dreamscapes.” Explore the two dreamscapes below. What do you see? How are the two paintings similar or different? Do they remind you of any dreams you’ve had?  

The Dream, 1931. Salvador Dalí. John L. Severance Fund, 2001.34. © Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Utopia, 1945. Reneé Magritte. Bequest of Lockwood Thompson, 1992.275. © 2013 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Build a Dreamscape

Think about your most memorable dream or imagine a dream you would like to have. Create your own dreamscape inspired by the Surrealists by making a collage: a piece of art made by sticking or gluing together different materials, like photographs and pieces of paper, onto a background. Do you have any old magazines lying around your home? You can use those or other recyclable materials, like newspapers or cereal boxes, to create your collage. Use tape or a glue stick to paste your images to a piece of paper.  

Here’s an example of a collage by another artist, Lenore Tawney. Notice how she uses pictures, drawings, and words in her piece. You can use all these components in your dreamscape too! What do you think Lenore dreams about?

Self-Portrait, c. 1974. Lenore Tawney. Gift of Katharine Kuh, 1981.178

Remember, Surrealist artists like to use objects we see every day, and reimagine them by changing their sizes or shapes, or putting them in unusual places. What do your dreams look like?  

Show us your creations using #CMAatHome and/or #CMADream.

Make Your Own Dream Journal!

Sometimes it’s hard to remember your dreams. If you keep a journal or notebook by your bed, you can use it as a dream journal to write down or sketch your dreams when you wake up.

Don't have a notebook? No problem; you can create your own! Follow this link for a video tutorial on how to make a simple book from a piece of paper. 

Dream Poems

In many Asian art traditions, artists combine words with images, or think about their words on a page as beautiful artworks themselves.

The artwork below is a poem on a piece of decorative or patterned paper written by a Japanese artist, Takaki Seikaku. This artist’s poem is about his dream for longevity or a long life. In his poem he says, “Crane and turtle are only one thousand year[s old]. I endlessly wish for your longevity.”

What kinds of things do you dream or wish for? Grab a piece of paper and some markers or crayons. Create a decorative design or pattern on your page, and then write your own poem about your hopes and dreams. Share your designs and poems using #CMAatHome and/or #CMADream.

A Poem of Longevity from Kokin Wakashu, late 1900s. Takaki Seikaku. Gift of the Artist, 2011.22