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POP-UP EXHIBITION

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

In May 1931, photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965) traveled to Mexico, where he met a woman he would never forget. Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) would become one of the nation’s most prolific and well-known artists. The two began an on-and-off romance that would continue for the next decade and a friendship that lasted until her death in 1954. This pop-up exhibition features a rotating selection of photographic portraits of Kahlo taken by Muray during this period. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1946, explore Muray’s unique perspective as Kahlo's friend, lover, and confidant. Muray's photographs highlight Kahlo's deep interest in her Mexican heritage, her life and travels, and the family and friends around her.

Born in Hungary, Nickolas Muray became a successful New York fashion and commercial photographer known for his portraits of celebrities, politicians, socialites, and artists. Having experimented with color from early on in his career, he found his most colorful model in Frida Kahlo. Muray was a prolific photographer, his archives containing over 25,000 images. Muray photographed Kahlo more than any of his other subjects. These portraits of Kahlo have made their way into a variety of media and popular culture, and are integral to the world’s understanding of who Frida Kahlo was as an individual behind her artwork.
Program Information

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

Dates: March 6, 2021 - May 9, 2021
Location: The Frick Art Museum
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico. Considered one of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida Kahlo began painting after she was severely injured in a 1925 bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in France, Mexico, and the United States before her death in 1954.

The photographs in this exhibition were scheduled to travel to Italy this season, but due to COVID-19 precautions their trip was postponed. The Frick is thrilled to welcome them to Pittsburgh and will show a selection of Muray’s photographs, many of them shot on Kodachrome color film, alongside our larger, predominately black-and-white show Frida Kahlo—An Intimate Portrait, showcasing prints—some shot by Muray—from Kahlo’s personal albums.

This traveling exhibition has been organized through the Nickolas Muray Archives and is circulated by GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions.

Major exhibition program support is provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Above: Nickolas Muray, Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacán, 1939. Carbon process print. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
Exhibtions landing page: Nickolas Muray, Frida on Rooftop, New York, 1946. Carbon process print. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
Homepage: Nickolas Muray, Frida with Nick in her Studio, Coyoacán, 1941. Silver gelatin print. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

It's free to visit The Frick Pittsburgh.