Frida Kahlo’s Colorful Wardrobe Unlocked After Being Hidden for 50 Years


Frida Kahlo’s clothes are like Frida herself: colorful, powerful, filled with passion. Seeing them immediately evokes the richness of her paintings, while poignantly offering an insight into her life.

When Mexican artist Frida Kahlo passed away in 1954, her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, anguished by her death, sealed her clothes in the bathroom of their Mexico City home and ordered to keep them hidden away until 15 years after his death.

Rivera died only a few years after Kahlo, in 1957, and their house was converted to a museum in her honor. The room with Kahlo’s belongings, however, wasn’t unlocked until 2004 when the museum decided to catalog its content. It invited renowned Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako to photograph the collection of more than 300 unseen relics.

Ms. Miyako used only a 35mm Nikon camera and natural light for the project. The result is an unprecdented archival record of Kahlo’s most private things.

  1. 1 The makeshift Frida Kahlo closet remained sealed for 50 years, when they were finally revealed in 2004.

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  2. 2 Kahlo's prosthetic limb with embroidered lace-up boots.

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  4. 4 Artist Frida Kahlo's paintings and personal style remain an inspiration today.

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  6. 6 Kahlo had polio as a child with made her right leg thinner than her left. Additionally, she fractured it in 11 places after her bus accident. Long dresses like this helped conceal her legs.

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