Museo Frida Kahlo - History and Facts | History Hit

Museo Frida Kahlo


Image Credit: James Carson

About Museo Frida Kahlo

Once the home of arguably Mexico’s most famous cultural icon, Frida Kahlo, La Casa Azul remains a site of pilgrimage for many visitors to Mexico City, and is well worth a visit, regardless of whether you’re a Frida fan.

History of Museo Frida Kahlo

The house lies in the leafy Coyoacán district, marked out in a largely residential area by its cobalt blue exterior and the queue which often snakes from the front door along the street.

Kahlo was born in La Casa Azul in 1907, and learnt to paint there whilst recuperating from the bus accident which left her in pain for the rest of her life. When she met the muralist and painter Diego Rivera, she invited him back to her house to see her work, and he quickly became a regular visitor at La Casa Azul. When the two eventually married in 1929, she moved to live with Rivera at his house on Paseo de La Reforma, but frequently visited her family home.

With Kahlo and Rivera’s intervention, the exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was granted sanctuary in Mexico. Trotsky and his wife moved into La Casa Azul initially: the windows facing the street were bricked up due to security concerns. The Trotskys lived in La Casa Azul until 1939, and the house became a meeting place for artists and intellectuals.

In 1941, Diego Rivera moved back into La Casa Azul and made various alterations, including completely enclosing the courtyard and moving Frida’s bedroom and studio. Frida began to teach from home in 1943, and was virtually bedbound from 1945. She eventually died on the upper floor of La Casa Azul in 1954, aged 47.

Four years after her death, Rivera donated the house to the Mexican government for it to be turned into a museum dedicated to the life and works of Frida Kahlo.

Museo Frida Kahlo today

Today the museum remains true to its original purpose: it remains full of the couple’s personal belongings as well as Frida’s art. The collection was given new life after trunks were discovered in an attic full of dresses, corsets and other memorabilia – these are all on display today.

Depending on how much of a Frida devotee you are, the museum takes anything from 90 minutes to half a day to explore fully. It gets busy though, so don’t expect to necessarily feel the magic. Visiting the Museo Dolores Olmedo afterwards is a good idea if you want something slightly quieter, and to further explore both Frida and Rivera’s work.

Museo Frida Kahlo is extremely popular: booking tickets online in advance is highly recommended, otherwise you may face a long wait. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Getting to Museo Frida Kahlo

The museum is located in Coyoacán, a pleasant southern suburb of Mexico City. The nearest metro stops are Coyoacán (Olive / Linea 3) and Eje Central (Gold / Linea 12), and it’s about a 15 minute walk from either to the house.