Frida Kahlo’s Garden

Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) is considered one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. Her body of work, consisting of some 250 paintings and drawings, is at once intensely personal and universal in scope, and relies heavily on the natural world. The exhibition Frida Kahlo’s Garden transports visitors to Kahlo’s garden to experience her world as she did.

The garden at Casa Azul (or Blue House), Kahlo’s lifelong home in Coyoacán, Mexico City, was a creative refuge and a source of inspiration for the artist and her husband, Diego Rivera (1886–1957). The garden, which was filled with native plants, housed Kahlo and Rivera’s collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts and folk art displayed on a four-tiered pyramid inspired by the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan. This exhibition offers insights into the ways in which the garden at Casa Azul, the diversity of plant life in Mexico, and the rich cultural history of the country nourished the creativity of the world’s great artists.

Often overshadowed by her husband’s career and the traumatic events in her life, this exhibition approaches Kahlo from a different angle, to broaden the discussion of the artist by focusing on the influence of her surrounding environment, both natural and nationalistic. This approach examines her garden, her home, and the revolutionary influences that impacted her life.

Kahlo’s works are filled with colorful and compelling depictions of flowers, foliage, and fruits, many native to Mexico. Her choice of botanical imagery reflects the embrace of archetypal Mexican indigenous and natural elements that defined art in the decades following the Mexican Revolution (1910–20). Through her profoundly personal paintings, which convey cultural, spiritual, and intimate messages, her reverence for nature, and her nationalistic fashion sense, Kahlo has become an icon within the artistic world.

Visitors to this exhibition will explore iconic photographs of the artist and her home and garden, in addition to reproductions of several of her paintings. Also included are information about native Mexican plants that were grown in her garden, a dress from the Mexican state of Oaxaca where Kahlo sourced many of her dresses, and examples of folk art collected by Kahlo and Rivera. Additionally, visitors will learn about Mexican culture, including traditional festivities, food and drink, and agricultural practices.

This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Frida Kahlo’s Garden is adapted from the exhibition, FRIDA KAHLO: ART, GARDEN, LIFE, organized by guest curator Adriana Zavala at The New York Botanical Garden. It was made possible with major funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Karen Katen Foundation, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, MetLife Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Gillian and Robert Steel. It was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by the Mid-America Arts Alliance.

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Availability

Frida Kahlo’s Garden will tour from November 2019 through October 2023. Dates are subject to change; please call for current availability.

This exhibition will be awarded first to new venues, particularly those in communities that have not hosted an NEH on the Road exhibition.

Contact: MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872, ext. 208

  • November 10, 2018–January 7, 2019 Arts Center of the Ozarks
    Springdale, AR
    pending
  • January 28–March 16, 2019 Forest Preserve District of Will County
    Channahon, IL
    pending
  • April 6–May 25, 2019 Powell Gardens
    Kingsville, MO
    pending
  • June 16–August 11, 2019 Sutter County Museum
    Yuba City, CA
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2019
    available
  • November 10, 2019–January 7, 2020 Catalina Island Museum
    Avalon, CA
    pending
  • January 28–March 16, 2020 Civil War Museum
    Kenosha, WI
    pending
  • April 6–May 25, 2020
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2020
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2020 The Crisp Museum
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    pending
  • November 10, 2020–March 16, 2021 Maui Arts Center
    Maui, HI
    pending
  • April 6–May 25, 2021 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
    booked
  • June 16–August 11, 2021
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2021 Kenosha Public Museum
    Kenosha, WI
    pending
  • November 10, 2021–January 7, 2022
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2022 Chelsea Distric Library
    Chelsea, MI
    pending
  • April 6–May 25, 2022
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2022
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2022
    available
  • November 10, 2022–January 7, 2023
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2023
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2023
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2023
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2023
    available

Exhibition Details & Specifications

  • Curated By

    Adriana Zavala, guest curator for the New York Botanical Garden

  • Organized By

    The New York Botanical Garden, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO
  • Content

    The exhibition features several freestanding units focused on the thematic areas incorporating a selection of objects, artifacts, photographs, and paper ephemera; audio/video features; interactive stations; and wall mounted graphics.

  • Duration

    seven-week display

  • Rental Fee

    $1000

  • Grant

    $1000

  • Support

    On-site support is free to the opening venue for every new NEH on the Road exhibition and to first-time hosting venues on a limited basis

  • Shipping:

    $1000

  • Security

    Limited

  • Square Feet

    Approximately 2,000 square feet

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    TBD

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by NEH on the Road at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.