Frida Kahlo—Her Photos | Heard Museum

Frida Kahlo–Her Photos

Frida Kahlo—Her Photos

I knew the battlefield of suffering was reflected in my eyes. Ever since then, I started looking straight into the lens, without winking, without smiling, determined to prove I would be a good warrior until the end.

Frida Kahlo

An exhibition by Frida Kahlo Museum – Casa Azul/Diego Rivera Museum; Banco de Mexico Fiduciario en el Fideicomiso Museos Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

The Heard Museum presents a selection of more than 240 images from the 6,500 which are part of the Blue House archive. The photographs, along with Frida Kahlo’s personal items, were locked in a room of the Blue House, the residence where she spent most of her life, and revealed to the public in 2007. The images have served as memories to Frida, as work tools or as a means to exorcise solitude. The exhibition Frida Kahlo—Her Photos, curated by the well-known Mexican photographer and photography historian Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, shows the importance of this medium in Frida’s life.

The photographs – taken by Man Ray, Martin Munkácsi, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, Nickolas Muray, Manuel and Lola Alvarez Bravo and others – were cherished by Kahlo when she was immobilized and isolated in her bed.

Frida Kahlo had a very special relationship with photography. Besides her personal background – both her father, Guillermo Kahlo, and her maternal grandfather were professional photographers – she brought different uses to photography: she collected daguerreotypes and visiting cards (carte de visite in French or tarjeta de visita in the original) from the 19th century, she kept photographs upon which she put her personal stamp, cutting things out from them, writing dedications on them and personalizing them as if they were paintings. Some of the images have red lipstick kisses, others are trimmed or folded. Some have personal notations on the reverse.

These images give visitors an intimate view of Kahlo’s life. The exhibition does not intend to depict a chronological biography, but rather to exhibit parts of the personal history of an artist, of a country and of a period. It is a photographic collage made up of images that allow us to discover new facets of a key figure of the 20th century.

For Frida Kahlo—Her Photos 241 photographs have been chosen, organized into six main subjects: The Origins; The Blue House; Politics, Revolutions and Diego; Her Broken Body; Frida’s Loves and Photography. The images throw new light on Frida Kahlo’s work as an artist, a way of understanding her life in historical and cultural context, and a demonstration of her passion for Mexico.

Please note: No photography or filming of the exhibit is allowed.
Thank you for your understanding.

See the exhibit – then get the book

Get your copy of Frida Kahlo: Her Photos, featuring the exhibit’s photography in a book you can take home. Now available at the Heard Museum’s Books & More and online at, $45 per copy.

Recommended Reading

Heard Museum Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives librarian Betty Murphy, with curator Janet Cantley and Books & More Manager Lynn Bullock, have compiled a bibliography of recommended titles to learn more about Frida Kahlo and her culture.
Download the reading list here.

Panel discussion: Espiritu de Frida, Jan. 31

Frida Kahlo’s work has left a lasting impression on the work of many women in Latin American art. Join the Heard as we discuss the espiritu de Frida (spirit of Frida) with moderator Betsy Fahlman, an Arizona State University art history professor. The 1:30 to 3 p.m. conversation in the Steele Auditorium will include Gabriela Munoz, an artist and educator and the newly selected artist programs manager at the Arizona Commission on the Arts; Julie Sasse, chief curator, curator of modern and contemporary art and curator of Latin American art at the Tucson Museum of Art; and Annie Lopez, a member of the Phoenix art scene since 1982. Free. (NOTE: An incorrect start time was published in some media. The correct time is 1:30 p.m.) Details —>


This exhibit is organized by:

Contributing sponsors:

Patron sponsors:

Arlene and Giora Ben-Horin

Additional support from:

Bob and Mary Ellen McKee