Frida Kahlo's family home, the Casa Azúl, or "Blue House" is where the Mexican artist lived most of her life. Visitors to Mexico City who are interested in her life and work should not miss a visit to this museum, which is not only a testament to her life but also a fine example of early 20th Century Mexican architecture. Those hoping to see her art should plan to visit the Dolores Olmedo Museum and the Modern Art Museum in Chapultepec Park because there is not much of Frida's or Diego Rivera's art exhibited here.
Casa Azúl History
The house was built in 1904 by Frida's father, Guillermo Kahlo, and was the Kahlo family home. Frida's husband, Diego Rivera, later purchased the home, paying off the mortgage and debt that Frida's father had accumulated to pay for Frida's medical care following the accident she suffered at the age of 18 when a streetcar crashed into the bus she was riding. Leon Trotsky stayed here as a guest of Frida and Diego when he first arrived in Mexico in 1937.
The house and grounds were originally much smaller than they are now; in the couple's later years they had a significant amount of work done, and the architect Juan O'Gorman collaborated with Rivera to build an addition to the house in the 1940s. The new wing of the house included Frida's studio and bedroom. In 1958, four years after Frida's death, the Casa Azul was converted into a museum. It is decorated with Mexican folk art and contains Frida's and Diego's personal belongings from the time they lived there.
What You Will See
Each object in the home tells a story: the crutches, wheelchair, and corset speak of Frida's medical troubles and physical suffering. The Mexican folk art shows Frida's keen artist's eye, how devoted she was to her country and traditions, and how she loved to surround herself with beautiful things. The couple enjoyed entertaining and their colorful kitchen with clay pots hanging on the walls and on the tiled stove would have been an ideal space for social gatherings. Some of the highlights of the museum include the kitchen, Frida's easel and wheelchair, and the garden with a central pyramid, terracotta pots and a few pieces from Diego's collection of Prehispanic art (more can be seen in the Museo Anahualcalli).
Museum Location and Hours
The Museo Frida Kahlo is located on Calle Londres number 247 at the corner of Allende in the Colonia Del Carmen, Coyoacán borough of Mexico City. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday (Wednesday opening time is 11 a.m.). Closed Mondays. General admission is 246 pesos (approximately $13 U.S.) for international visitors, free for children under 6. There is an extra fee for a permit to take photos inside the museum. The cost of the ticket also includes admission to the museum at Anahuacalli, which you could visit on a different day, just be sure to save your ticket.
The line at the ticket booth can be long, particularly on weekends. To avoid a long wait, purchase and print your ticket online in advance and go straight to the entrance instead of waiting.
Take Metro Line 3 to the Coyoacán Viveros station. From there you can take a taxi or bus, or you can walk to the museum (a pleasant 15 to 20-minute walk).
Alternatively, the Turibus does a southern circuit that goes to Coyoacán and visits the Casa Azul. This is an easy way to get here. This is the "Southside Tour" not the regular Turibus route ("Circuito Centro"), so be sure to get the correct bus.
More on Frida Kahlo
You can also visit other sites where you can appreciate Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's life and work by taking the Frida and Diego Tour in Mexico City.
The book, Frida Kahlo at Home, makes for a good read before you visit.