Frida Kahlo’s house and museum: Casa Azul
I was writing my top things to do in Mexico city and figured out that I have too much to say about Frida Kahlo to not dedicate a full post about the museum. So here is everything you need to know before you visit the famous museum and house of Frida Kahlo.
You imagine that it’s flattering for a Mexican to praise Frida Kahlo as an emblem of the local art scene… You are strongly mistaken, as I was! All of the below didn’t prevent me from putting Museo Frida on my top list of Mexico city. She’s still a feminist icon who empowered generations of women by embracing her uniqueness and living with her own terms. What’s not to like? Her art is definitely not for everyone and sometimes grim, but it’s completely her. Salma Hayek’s portrayal of Frida Kahlo in the movie made me love her even more.
Why Mexicans hate Frida Kahlo?
I talked to few Mexicans about Frida Kahlo, and it seems like she’s not as much appreciated locally as she is Internationally. Mexicans don’t like talking about politics, but I understood that it has a lot to do with Frida’s political opinions. They also must be tired of seeing Frida Kahlo printed everywhere in souvenir shops. I am guilty of buying my own Frida tee-shirt that must look just plain ridiculous for Mexicans. Her husband, Diego Rivera on the other hand is much more appreciated, which is surprising because they were on the same page politically.
Some argue that her art is childish, overrated and that there are more deserving Mexican artists to be praised Internationally. While others regret the fact that her art is too ego-centrical with her being the main subject of her paintings. But one person had a different and contemporary accurate point of view: Frida Kahlo’s indigenous cultural appropriation while she was a white latina. Quoting this person: “She used the indigenous culture as her personal brand without having to deal with any of the real repercussions of being indigenous.” If you compare her photographs to her paintings you will notice that she painted herself much darker than she actually is.
I am sure that there are equally deserving artists, but to each their destiny and Frida in addition to her art had a tragic story and a tumultuous relationship. Drama always sells I guess! But don’t get me wrong I love Frida 🙂 But I would love any other Mexican female free-spirited artist if she’d reach an international audience.
Photography portrait of Frida (Source)
Indigenous influences in the patio temple
Entrance fees and how to get to Frida Kahlo’s museum
The museum is in the quiet and charming Coyoacán neighbourhood. We took an Uber for 8 USD and it was the most expensive Uber itinerary during our trip, because it’s quite far from Reforma where we were back then.
The second and cheaper option if you have some time to explore Coyoacán (and I highly recommend it), is to take Metro Line 3 to the Coyoacán Viveros station. From there you can take a taxi, a bus, or you can walk to the museum (a pleasant 15 to 20-minute walk). Make sure that you get in time though if you you buy your tickets online.
Entry fee: 200 pesos. I highly recommend to buy your tickets online and in advance, because the waiting queue is usually long and you can even see yourself declined. The museums only allows a certain number of people at once to keep the experience enjoyable.
– We bought ours here.
– For 56 USD you can visit two other museums and get picked up at your hotel with this guided tour: here.
Casa Azul: Frida Kahlo’s house and museum
So, about the museum! It’s actually called Casa Azul (the blue house) and it’s the house where Frida grew up and died after her husband bought the house from her bankrupt parents.
Inside the house they recreated the rooms as they were, with the original furniture and well it looks like Frida: colourful, authentic and complex with a clear traditional Mexican touch, that was considered as tacky from the bourgeoisie back then. Along the house you can find her paintings displayed and some drafts and personal notes. Everything is well documented and you won’t need a guide. At the entrance you can ask for a free introductory guide.
The patio looks like “Les jardins Majorelle” in Marrakech. But inside the house it’s a different story. Unfortunately it’s not allowed to photograph with a camera, and even to film with a phone you need to pay and extra fee. I still sneaked some pictures of the house. My favourite part is her studio, where you can notice that she worked from a wheeling chair.
The four first pictures are from the patio with the iconic blue
Kitchen decorated in a Mexican colonial style
Kitchen wall art
Left: Her day bed with a ceiling mirror setup, that’s how she painted herself after the accident. Recognisable if you saw the movie
Right: Her studio with a wheeling chair
Frida Kahlo’s closet
In the other side of the house, there is a temporary exhibition of Frida’s closet and outfits. That’s my favourite part! Just like her decoration style, her fashion style was completely different from her bourgeois friends. Women from her rank never wear traditional aboriginal dresses, and she played with the dresses and the volumes to cover her shorter weak leg. For the record, Frida’s father was German-Mexican and her mother was from indigenous origins.
Frida’s iconic looks, mixing indigenous style with European influences
Left: She incorporated her orthopaedic corsets into her outfits
Right: A Givenchy couture look that I am absolutely in love with
Thank you for reading, I hope that you enjoyed the article. Leave a comment if you like it or have any question.
xo xo Dalal
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