The world’s largest design and decorative arts museum, Victoria and Alberto (V & A), will present a collection of Frida Kahlo’s dresses, the Mexican painter (1907-1954), in an exhibition that is one of the most anticipated of the 2018 cultural calendar.
“Frida Kahlo is one of the most iconic and recognizable artists of the last century,” said V & A director Tristam Hunt.
Widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and avant-garde artists of the 20th century, Frida Kahlo is also known for her iconic personality through her clear preference for typical Mexican dresses, corsets and hairstyles with braids and flowers.
For the first time, a part of Kahlo’s wardrobe, personal accessories, medicines, jewelry, photographs and letters that define the personality of the influential painter will travel from Mexico to London.
As part of the exhibition – whose title is yet to be defined – the public may be surprised by Tehuana dresses, the corsets decorated by Frida herself and a prosthetic leg, which reflect the artist’s physical suffering due to a combination of polio and a trolley accident.
These personal objects, which reflect the intimate world of the painter, were discovered in 2004 in a bathroom of Casa Azul in Coyoacán that she shared with her husband Diego Rivera.
The London museum, which is one of the most touristy cultural attractions with over three million visitors a year, will explore the development of Kahlo’s style which was characterized by an amalgam of traditional Mexican objects and the influence of its own European heritage.
Frida Kahlo’s dresses and personal objects will be presented alongside iconic paintings such as “Alla cuelga mi vestido” (1933) and “Self Portrait with Red and Gold Dress” (1941) for the British audience to understand the relationship between her art and her personality.
After her death in 1954, Diego Rivera stored the objects of Frida Kahlo for 15 years, until his death, which were discovered 50 years later when the house was converted into a museum.
“Rediscovered 50 years after her death an extraordinary collection of jewelry, clothes and personal objects that are an integral part of her art and her own identity, will arrive in 2018 to the V & A,” said the director of the museum.
At the moment, part of the more than 300 objects are part of the popular exhibition “The appearances deceive: the dresses of Frida Kahlo” in Casa Azul of the City of Mexico.
The exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s dresses and other items in Lodon will be open to the public from June 16 to November 4, 2018 in an anticipated exhibition that has taken several years to organize.
Related: Mexico Modern Art, Commerce, and Cultural Exchange, 1920–1945, Frida Kahlo painting, unseen for 60 years, surfaces for sale