Frida Kahlo : making her self up

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  • Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), as an artist and a woman, has a unique international appeal. Her instantly recognizable work draws extensively on her life and her extraordinarily personal reflections upon it. On Kahlo's death, her husband, Diego Rivera (1886-1957), ordered that her most private possessions be locked away until 15 years after his death. The bathroom in which her belongings were stored in fact remained unopened until 2004. Through this incredible archive, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up gives readers a unique window into Kahlo's life. It will focus on the personal, combining her prosthetics, jewelry, and clothes with self-portraits, diary entries, and letters to build an intimate portrait of the artist through her possessions, setting this in the context of her political and social beliefs.


  • "First published by V&A Publishing to accompany the exhibition Frida Kahlo: making her self up on view from 16 June until 4 November 2018 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London."
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • I. Family and childhood -- Querzalcoatl's Grin: the changing face of art and culture in Frida Kahlo's Mexico / Adrian Locke -- II. Adolescence and adulthood -- Appearances can be deceiving-Frida Kahlo's construction of identity: disability, ethnicity and dress / Circe Henestrosa -- Frida Kahlo's jewellery / Clare Phillips -- III. Jewellery -- Frida Kahlo's wardrobe / Chloë Sayer -- Frida Kahlo: making her self up / Claire Wilcox -- IV. Cosmetics -- Frida Kahlo: posing, composing, exposing / Gannit Ankori -- V. Orthopaedic devices -- The Resplandor: cultural and spiritual significance in two self-portraits / Kirstin Kennedy -- Frida redressed / Oriana Baddeley -- VI. Medicines
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