News ~ Noticias ~ July 2007
¡Hola, dear Friends of Mexico Lindo! Our July newsletter is devoted entirely to Frida Kahlo, for July 6th marks the Centennial anniversary of her birthday. See the following articles:
The great Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo(July 6,1907-July 13,1954) was born Magdalena Frida Kahlo y Calderón in her parents' house, known as" La Casa Azul" (The Blue House) in Coyoacán, now a section of Mexico City, but which was a small town on the outskirts of Mexico city in 1907, the year of her birth. It is now a museum, housing some of her paintings and memorabilia. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, who had immigrated from Germany in 1891, was a photographer, and many of Frida Kahlo's early photographs were taken by him. Her mother, Matilde Calderón y González was of Indian and Spanish origin. Frida was the third child of that marriage. All her siblings were girls, as were her two half sisters.

Kahlo contracted polio at age six. During most of her adult life she wore long peasant skirts to hide the fact polio had left her right leg much thinner than the left. In 1925, a bus she was riding in collided with a trolley car. An iron handrail impaled her abdomen, piercing her uterus. Many of her paintings depict the intense pain she suffered as the result of that accident and the 35 operations she underwent during her life time, mainly on her back and her right leg and foot. During her High School years, she met her first love, Alejandro Gómez Arias, but the great love of her life, and her mentor as a painter was Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, whom she married twice, in 1929 and then in 1940. Both marriages were turbulent due to their fiery temperaments and extramarital affairs which, according to biographers, included affairs with Leon Trotsky, who had sought political asylum from Stalin's regime in Mexico, where he was eventually assassinated, and one of Kahlo's sisters.

Shortly before her death, officially of pulmonary embolism, in 1954, Kahlo wrote in her diary:"I hope the exist is joyful-and I hope never to return-Frida". The 100th birthday of Frida Kahlo is being honored with the largest exhibit of her paintings (many on loan from the United States and Japan)at the Museum of Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City, Kahlo's first comprehensive exhibit in Mexico. It is slated to open June 13 and run through August 19, and will include one-third of her artistic production, as well as manuscripts and letters that have not previously been displayed.

Our hearfelt thanks to the author:

Monique J. Lemaître Léon, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Spanish American Literatures and Cultures
Northern Illinois University

additional recommended reading:

Mexico celebrates iconic artist Frida Kahlo:The artist's homeland marks the 100th anniversary of her birth with a months-long fiesta
by Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer.
Mexico art show reveals secrets of Frida and Diego by Anahi Rama, Reuters India
Beyond the Myth, Art Endures by Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times
Overcome by Fridamania:This summer in Mexico City, Frida Kahlo will be more popular than the Virgin of Guadalupe
by Deanna Macdonald , Globe and Mail
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