Museum begins restoration on Frida Kahlo photos

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is renowned for her painting, especially her vivid self-portraits, but she was also a keen photographer and collector of photographs, like her husband, artist Diego Rivera.

The museum based at Kahlo's former house in Mexico City, La Casa Azul, or the Blue House, possesses around 6 500 images, many taken by Kahlo and Rivera, and capturing their bohemian life in the first half of the 20th century.

Among those pictured are André Breton, the French writer, and Russia's revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky. The vast collection, much of which is in need of repair, also covers works by celebrated photographers such as Man Ray and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Now, more than 350 of the photographs are to be restored in a six-month scheme financed by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, one of 25 such projects undertaken by the bank over 2013.

Each image formed "a piece of a big puzzle of Frida's complex life", the director of the Kahlo museum, Hilda Trujillo, told the Art Newspaper.

"They enable us to understand many aspects of Frida's personality, her family life, her relationship with Diego and friends, her political, social and sexual vision, her peculiar way of dressing and grooming, her illness and many back surgeries, her frustration at not being able to have a child and her intense social life." – © Guardian News and Media 2013 

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Peter Walker
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