Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

June 10, 2023 – November 5, 2023

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, an exhibition of photographic portraits of Frida Kahlo, provides an intimate look at Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist.

In May 1931 photographer Nickolas Muray (1892-1965) traveled to Mexico by the invitation of his friend, artist Miguel Covarrubias, where he met Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next ten years and a friendship that lasted until her death in 1954. Approximately forty photographic portraits taken by Muray of Kahlo comprise the exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1946, explore Muray’s unique perspective; as Kahlo’s friend, lover and confidant, Muray’s photographs bring to light Kahlo’s deep interest in her Mexican heritage, her life and the people with whom she shared a close friendship.

The Hungarian born Muray was an acclaimed artist in his own right, having pioneered color portrait photography. During his long career, Nickolas Muray photographed many important people from the political, artistic and social arenas. His work was regularly featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, McCall’s and the Ladies Home Journal. The body of his work is extensive, comprising over 10,000 images. Muray photographed Kahlo more than any of his other subjects and his portraits of her are among the most iconic images of the artist that are not self-portraits. These photographs of Kahlo have made their way into a variety of media, popular culture, and are integral to the world’s understanding of who Frida Kahlo was as an individual behind her artwork.

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

Frida with Nick in her Studio, Coyoacán, 1941
Frida with Blue Satin Blouse, New York, 1939
Frida with her sister Cristina, Nickolas Muray, and Rosa Covarrubias, Coyoacán, 1939
Classic Frida (with Magenta Rebozo), New York, 1939
Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacán, 1939
Photo of a page of a love letter Frida sent to Nick
Frida and Diego, San Angel, 1941
Frida painting The Two Fridas, Coyoacán, 1939