If you’re in Lisbon before the 29th January, be sure to head to the Museu da Cidade for an exhibition brimming with historical and personal value – the first international exhibit of Frida Kahlo – Her Photos.
This nostalgic exhibition features 257 images, carefully selected from Frida Kahlo’s personal collection of over 6,500 photographs that is normally housed in the Casa Azul, the Blue House, where Kahlo was born and died. A wide array of images are displayed; some are photographs of Kahlo, some are photographs by her. Many are by her beloved father and professional photographer Guillermo Kahlo, and more still are by her contemporaries and friends, including legendary photographers Man Ray and Edward Weston.
What is perhaps more surprising than the sheer size of her collection is that it remained hidden for more than half a century. After her death in 1954, Kahlo’s husband Diego Riviera asked poet and friend Carlos Pellicer to transform the Blue House into a museum so that the people of Mexico could appreciate her work. After selecting what he decided were her most important works of art to be displayed in the museum, the rest of her possessions, including her vast photograph collection, were put into storage and were not taken out again until 2007.
Rather than documenting Kahlo’s story chronologically, the exhibition is divided into six sections, each one dedicated to a factor that defined her, snippets of her life including her parents, her poor health, and her loves. Deeply personal and undeniably fascinating, this exhibition sheds a fresh, new light on the life of one of the 20th century’s most charismatic, complex and enigmatic personalities.