Trapped in the closet: Frida Kahlo’s closet unlocked after 58 years

Casa Azul, the former home of Frida Kahlo now a museum dedicated to her life and work, recently opened Kahlo’s closet which had remained locked since her death in 1954.  A waft of perfume and cigarette smoke greeted the museum director as over 300 personal items–clothing, shoes, photos, medication, jewelry, and love letters–were revealed.  Diego Rivera locked Kahlo’s closet immediately after her death to keep her belongings from being mishandled.  After Rivera’s death in 1957 he entrusted a friend to keep the closet closed for an additional fifteen years.  Dolores Olmedo, charged with the task of protecting the closet’s contents, decided to keep it locked for the rest of her life.  Several years after Olmedo’s death it was time to open the closet.

Kahlo’s personal items are now on display at the museum.  The exhibit, Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo, will run through Novemeber 2013.  The exhibits will revolve every five months to allow more of Kahlo’s personal effects to be on view in the tiny museum.


Curator, Circe Henestrosa, identifies disability and ethnicity as prominent themes in the exhibit.  Read more here.


Vogue Mexico collaborated with the museum in order to highlight the influence Kahlo’s art and fashion have on modern design.  Several artists and designers including: Dai Rees, Angelo Seminara, Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garçon, and Riccardo Tisci provided pieces for the exhibit.


If you find yourself in Mexico City this year be sure to get trapped in Frida Kahlo’s closet!

Karen Hayes


About Women and Their Work Gallery

Known for its pioneering spirit, embrace of artistic innovation, and commitment to Texas audiences and artists, Women & Their Work Art Space is a one of a kind statewide non-profit organization. Voted “Best Gallery” numerous times in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll, Women & Their Work Gallery showcases exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the year and presents performances, readings, film screenings and educational outreach programs.
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3 Responses to Trapped in the closet: Frida Kahlo’s closet unlocked after 58 years

  1. sixpillarstopersia says:

    Is the boot from the closet to the collaborations please? Also your link doesn’t work but thanks so much for posting, great story. Great taste, Frida…

  2. sixpillarstopersia says:

    * or the collaborations – I mean with Gaultier etc.

  3. Gina Gwen says:

    Yes, fix the link at: “Curator, Circe Henestrosa, identifies disability and ethnicity as prominent themes in the exhibit. Read more here.”

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