Surrealism launched in Paris in 1924 – playful, provocative, shocking. It wanted to open up a new kind of reality, and quickly took the world by storm.
In this exhibition, you’ll encounter 180 surrealist works, from paintings and photographs to books, sculpture, and film. This world-class collection from the Netherlands spans the 1910s to 1960s.
Get up close to some of Salvador Dalí’s most important paintings and sculpture. Explore the layers of his masterpiece Impressions of Africa in an immersive digital projection. See his sensuous Mae West Lips Sofa, and watch extracts from his sensational film The Golden Age, which caused a riot at its first screening in 1930s Paris.
Hear the anarchic chaos of the Cabaret Voltaire – where dada, the forerunner to surrealism, first emerged. Step inside a René Magritte painting. Record one of your dreams to add to our archive, inspired by the original Bureau of Surrealist Research.
Salvador Dalí, Mae West Lips Sofa, wood, woollen flannel, cotton, and brass rivets, 1938. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (purchase with the support of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation and the Rembrandt Association). Photo: Jannes Linders. © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/VEGAP. Copyright Agency, 2020
Relaxed viewing sessions
Experience a quieter viewing of this immersive exhibition – for visitors with autism or sensory sensitivities, or living with disability.
Visitor numbers at these sessions are restricted to offer a quieter experience. Sound effects within the exhibition are reduced and passouts can be provided if needed.
Tue 15 Jun, 4.30pm and 5pm
Sun 5 Sep, 10am and 10.30am
Book tickets for a relaxed viewing session of Surrealist Art
Surrealist Art audio guide
Hear the stories behind the masterpieces. Te Papa’s audio guide will take you on an immersive journey through the exhibition in 18 audio tracks featuring music, sounds, and artists’ voices.
Purchase your audio guide online or at the Level 2 Information Desk for $5.50. Use the guide on your own device by scanning a QR code on entry – please bring your headphones, or pick up a loan device at the exhibition entrance.
Listen to two tracks from the Surrealist Art audio guide
School group pricing
Enter the marvellous world of surrealism with an exclusive school group price of $35 per 5 students and 1 adult helper/teacher.
Learn more about school group pricing, and book tickets
Conditions of entry
Sorry, no wet items, umbrellas, or large bags in Surrealist Art.
Surrealist Art hotel package
Accor, the exhibition Hotel Partner, are offering a Surrealist Art package, which includes accommodation, breakfast, and general admission tickets for up to two to Surrealist Art between 12 Jun – 30 Oct 2021.
Book the Time To Celebrate package, available at selected hotels
Indemnified by the New Zealand Government.