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Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Nickolas Muray (American, born Hungary, 1892–1965), Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacán, 1939.
colour carbon print

FRIDA KAHLO, or MAGDALENA CARMEN FRIDA KAHLO CALDERÓN, was born on July 6, 1907 in the Mexico City home owned by her parents since 1904, known today as the Blue House.

We are certain you will have read so much about Frida already, however, we thought that having a post about her on our website is something we can do to honour her memory.

There are web searches about her that you might have already come across and there is a lot to be read about her life story and her work. Here we leave you with a glimpse of some of that content and you can do further research if you would like to know more.

At the time of Frida Kahlo’s death in 1954, a treasure trove of the artist’s highly personal items—including jewelry, clothing, and prosthetics— was locked away.

Fifty years later, these belongings was unsealed, and now they’re on view at the de Young Museum in the traveling and changing exhibition Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving.

Offering a perspective on the iconic artist unknown to most, the exhibition reveals the ways in which politics, gender, disability, and national identity informed Kahlo’s life, art, and multifaceted creativity. Thirty-four of Kahlo’s drawings, paintings, and a lithograph are accompanied by her personal belongings—including photographs, letters, jewelry, cosmetics, medical aids, and exceptional garments.

These are augmented by a selection of Pre-Hispanic sculptures drawn from the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.


At the age of 18, on September 17, 1925, Frida was in a tragic accident. A streetcar crashed into the bus she was traveling in. The consequences to her person were grave: several bones were fractured and her spinal cord, damaged. While she was immobilized for several months, Frida began to paint.


Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, pain and passion, and bold, vibrant colours. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form.

Life experience is a common theme in Kahlo’s approximately 200 paintings, sketches and drawings. Her physical and emotional pain are depicted starkly on canvases, as is her turbulent relationship with her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, who she married twice. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits.

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” – Frida Kahlo

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