A series of photographs selected from Frida Kahlo’s private albums explore the life of the iconic Mexican painter through a new exhibition at the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh.
Frida Kahlo—An Intimate Portrait, on display through May 30, includes 115 photographs taken of the artist by friends and family. Kahlo’s father, Guillermo Kahlo, was a professional photographer. Other photographers featured in the show include Tina Modotti, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, and Nickolas Muray.
Like all family albums, the photos in the exhibition tell a story and shine a light on Kahlo’s relationships, including her volatile marriage to muralist Diego Rivera. They also trace moments of joy and pain. In one photograph taken by Lucienne Bloch, Kahlo’s happiness is captured as she holds her godson, George Ernest Dimitroff, in New York City circa 1939. In another taken by Carl van Vechten in 1932, she is photographed with a Tehuantepec gourd on her head.
The work of Muray, who was a New York fashion photographer known to have had an affair with Kahlo, includes photos of Kahlo in traction. One image shows Kahlo lying in bed getting her neck stretched to relieve pain due to the numerous surgeries she had after a serious bus accident left her with life-long injuries when she was only 18 years old.
Many of the photographs are taken inside the Blue House, the birthplace of Kahlo, located in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán in Mexico City. Today La Casa Azul is an art museum dedicated to the life and work of Kahlo. The Blue House is where Kahlo also died in 1954 at the age of 47.
For more information on Frida Kahlo—An Intimate Portrait, visit the Frick Art Museum website.