PREVIEW: Frida Kahlo:Making Her Self Up, Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum have announced details of its upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition, on display from the 16th June. 

Frida Kahlo in blue satin blouse, 1939. Photograph Nickolas Muray © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives.jpg
Frida Kahlo in blue satin blouse, 1939. Photograph by Nickolas  Muray. (c) Nickolas Muray. 

The museum will explore how this internationally recognised artist fashioned her identity and will be the first exhibition to display Kahlo’s clothes and possessions, reuniting them with key self-portraits and photographs to offer new insight into her life.

On display from the 16th June, Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up will display over 200 objects and artefacts from the Blue House (now the Frida Kahlo museum in Mexico) including outfits, letters, jewellery, cosmetics, medicines and medical corsets. Highlights will include: 22 distinctive colourful Tehuana garments; pre-Columbian necklaces that Frida strung herself; examples of intricately hand painted corsets and prosthetics as well as her eyebrow pencil ‘Ebony,’ still within its original packaging, which she used to emphasise her signature mono brow.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up will also reimagine the artist’s home, the Blue House, located in Coyoacán, on the outskirts of Mexico City, where she was born, lived and died. It will explore her life as a child with her family up to her marriage to Diego Rivera including an album of architectural church photographs by her German father Guillermo Kahlo, early paintings and photographs of Kahlo and Rivera together and with their influential circle of friends including Communist leader Leon Trotsky.

Talking about the exhibition Claire Wilcox, Senior Curator of Fashion at the V&A and exhibition co-curator, said: “A countercultural and feminist symbol, this show will offer a powerful insight into how Frida Kahlo constructed her own identity. This show is a rare opportunity for visitors, offering unique access to an archive that has never left Mexico before.” 

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum from the 16th June until the 4th November. For more information and to book tickets visit:



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