Tagged Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” on display at the Harry Ransom Center

Photo by Pete Smith.
Photo by Pete Smith.

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), one of the Ransom Center’s most famous and frequently borrowed works of art, is on display through July 28.


Since 1990 the painting has been on almost continuous loan, featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and around the world in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, and Spain. View a map of where the painting has traveled in recent years.


The painting was most recently on view in the three-venue exhibition In Wonderland: The Surrealist Activities of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and exhibited subsequently at the Musée National des beaux-arts du Quebec in Quebec City and at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. The painting travels next to The ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, Denmark, for the exhibition Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, running from September 7, 2013 to January 5, 2014.


Kahlo (1907–1954) taught herself to paint after she was severely injured in a bus accident at the age of 18. For Kahlo, painting became an act of cathartic ritual, and her symbolic images portray a cycle of pain, death, and rebirth.


Kahlo’s affair in New York City with Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965), which ended in 1939, and her divorce from artist Diego Rivera at the end of that same year left her heartbroken and lonely. But she produced some of her most powerful and compelling paintings and self-portraits during this time.


Muray purchased the self-portrait from Kahlo to help her during a difficult financial period. It is part of the Ransom Center’s Nickolas Muray collection of more than 100 works of modern Mexican art, which was acquired by the Center in 1966. The collection also includes Kahlo’s Still Life with Parrot and Fruit (1951) and the drawing Diego y Yo (1930).


View the video documentary “A World of Interest: Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,” which highlights the painting’s return to the Ransom Center.

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A World of Interest: Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s Self–portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940) has returned to the Harry Ransom Center and is on display in the lobby through January 8, 2012.

Join us on Thursday, October 27, at 7 p.m. for a lecture by Peter Mears, Associate Curator of Art at the Ransom Center. Mears discusses how the Ransom Center acquired the painting and a small but important collection of modern Mexican art from photographer and collector Nickolas Muray, who was also Kahlo’s lover. Mears will also provide an overview of this iconic painting’s worldly travels, which serve as a cultural barometer reflecting the trends, issues, and cross-cultural themes prevalent in the art world over the past two decades.

The painting, one of the Ransom Center’s most famous and frequently borrowed artworks, has been on almost continuous loan since 1990. During that time, the painting has been featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and around the world.

The painting was most recently on loan as part of a Kahlo retrospective tour with stops at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Germany; the Kunstforum Wien in Vienna, Austria; and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain. View a map of where the painting has travelled in the past 20 years.

Watch a video documenting the painting’s return, unpacking, and conservation assessment.


Visit the Harry Ransom Center

The galleries are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday until 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Docent-led tours are offered Tuesdays at noon, Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

The Ransom Center is located at 21st and Guadalupe. Admission is free. Your donation supports the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs.

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