The Frida Kahlo Museum, in the former home of the celebrated Mexican artist, is located in the Coyoacán borough of Mexico City. Also known as "La Casa Azul" (The Blue House), this is one of the must-visit Mexico City sights. A visit to her home offers a glimpse into her life.
Although an inscription on the wall of the Casa Azul says that Frida and her husband Diego lived here from 1929 to 1954, this is not actually the case. Frida was born in this house in 1907 and lived here with her family until she married Diego Rivera in 1929. During the early years of their marriage they traveled extensively and lived in a few different places, then they moved to the twin houses designed for them by Juan O'Gorman in San Angel (now open to visitors as the Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo). Frida moved back to her family home in 1939 when she and Diego were divorced. Upon their remarriage a year later Diego joined her here, maintaining the home in San Angel as his studio.
For visitor information including opening times, admission costs and how to get there, read Frida Kahlo Museum.
Portrait of Guillermo Kahlo
There are only a few pieces of Frida Kahlo's and Diego Rivera's work exhibited here in the Casa Azul, including My Family (unfinished), Frida and the Cesarean (unfinished), and Frida's final painting, Viva La Vida.
Another of Frida's paintings that is on display in her house museum is the portrait that she made of her father, Guillermo Kahlo. Guillermo immigrated from Germany in 1891 and later became a very respected photographer specializing in Mexico's architectural treasures. He died in 1941 and Frida later painted this portrait of him, some ten years after his death.
You can see more of Frida's work on display at the Dolores Olmedo museum.
Dining Room of La Casa Azul
The dining room at La Casa Azul shows Frida's appreciation for traditional Mexican furnishings and decorations. The floor and wooden shelves are painted bright yellow and pieces from Frida's collection of folk art are displayed throughout. Frida and Diego often entertained and this was the spot where they would come together with their guests to enjoy traditional Mexican food and drink and engage in long conversations.
Frida Kahlo's Divorce Clocks
During Frida and Diego's turbulent marriage, both of them had numerous affairs. They mostly tolerated these affairs, though reportedly Diego was much more accepting of Frida's involvements with other women than with men. Frida was very hurt when she discovered that Diego was having an affair with her younger sister Cristina, and she separated from him for a few months but they later reconciled. Some time later they divorced and remarried a little over a year later. These clocks represent the time Frida and Diego were apart. On the first clock Frida inscribed: "Se rompieron las horas. Septiembre 1939" ("the hours are broken") and on the second she wrote the place, date and time of their remarriage, "San Francisco California, 8 diciembre 40, a las once."
Kitchen of La Casa Azul
The kitchen is located through the hall from the dining room. The same color scheme is continued here, with yellow floor and furnishings, and blue and white walls. Frida favored a traditional wood-burning stove over modern appliances, even though they were available when she moved back to this house later in her life. Large clay pots on the stove and oversize wooden spoons and stir sticks are at the ready, making it seem like this kitchen was just recently abandoned. Tiny ceramic cups hanging on the wall spell out the names of Frida and Diego above the stove, and two doves holding a ribbon appear above a window on another wall.
Frida Kahlo's Bed
Frida spent so much time in bed due to her various physical ailments that she has two beds in the house, a day bed, which has a mirror on the canopy, and the bed in her bedroom where she would sleep at night that has a framed collection of butterflies that was given to her by Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American artist with whom she had an affair.
Bedroom of La Casa Azul
Frida requested that when she died her body be cremated. Her ashes rest here in her bedroom in a pre-Hispanic ceramic urn that is shaped like a frog. The frog is to symbolize her love for Diego Rivera who called himself "el sapo-rana" (the toad-frog). Diego requested that he be cremated and his ashes mixed with hers, but his wish was not respected: his ashes were placed in the Rotunda of Illustrious Persons inside the Panteon de Dolores civil cemetery.
Frida Kahlo's Studio
Frida's studio is located in an addition to the house that was designed by Juan O'Gorman in 1944. The large windows let in plenty of natural light and allowed her to enjoy views of her garden. Her easel is said to have been a gift from Nelson Rockefeller.
Frida with Magenta Rebozo
This iconic photo of Frida is called "Frida with Magenta Rebozo." It was taken by Hungarian-born American photographer Nickolas Muray in 1939. They had a love affair that lasted from 1931 when he met her on a trip to Mexico until 1940, but they remained friends for the rest of her life. He took many photos of her both in her home in Coyoacán and in New York City. The portrait is displayed in Frida's bedroom.
The Patio at Casa Azul
Diego Rivera was an avid collector of pre-Hispanic art. He and Frida had a stepped pyramid built in the patio of the Casa Azul which they used to display some of his collection pieces. You can see more of his collection at the Museo Anahuacalli which he designed. Entrance to Anahuacalli is included in the admission fee to the Frida Kahlo museum.