Tired of being a shut-in? Take some solace in the life of the beautiful Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954). The famous Mexican folk art painter spent long periods of her years confined to her bed healing from or dealing with chronic pain from a horrific tram accident that she survived in her youth.
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
Her former home in Mexico City, Mexico is now an old house museum.
The Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as The Blue House for the structure’s bright blue walls, is both a historic house museum and an art museum dedicated to the life and work of the beloved Frida Kahlo.
The casa was Kahlo’s birthplace, the home where she grew up, and where she lived with her husband Diego Rivera for a number of years. The home was also where she later died in a room on the upper floor.
In 1958, Diego Rivera set aside the home and its contents with the intention of turning it into a museum in Frida’s honor.
The museum contains a collection of artwork, Mexican artifacts, photographs, memorabilia, personal items, and more. The home and garden have remained very much the same as when Frida lived there.
The 1904 house was built around a central courtyard with a garden space, a tradition since colonial times. Originally, the house was only enclosed on three sides of the courtyard, but later a fourth side was added for full privacy.
According to Wikipedia, the dwelling originally had French-style decorative features but it was later changed to the plainer facade seen today. The building has two floors with numerous bedrooms, a studio space, a large kitchen and dining room.
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in the Blue House. At the age of six, she fell ill with poliomyelitis which caused her right leg to be shorter than the left. She was forced to wear special shoes to even out her gait.
Then in 1925, at the age of 18, Frida was involved in a tragic accident when the bus she was traveling in was hit by a tramcar. She suffered severe fractures from being impaled by a metal bar as well as major injuries to her spine. For many months she had to remain immobilized in her bed at the Blue House, and that is when she began to paint.
Although she eventually left home and lived in different places, she returned to her family home to live with her husband Diego Rivera – a famed Mexican muralist – and eventually inherited the estate.
An old photo of the Blue House interior:
Frida in her studio:
Being confined to her home for long periods of time, Frida saw and recorded the sad beauty in a life lived behind bright blue walls.
She died at home in her beloved house in 1954 at the age of 47 from complications from her injuries.
No matter what is happening around us right now – all the things we can’t control – there is always reason to celebrate the beauty in the world, because there is so much of it! 🙂