Stepping into Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s Mexico City

Diego Rivera's paintbrushes and painting tools in his studio.
Diego Rivera’s paintbrushes seem untouched since the day he left them.


It is hard to imagine that two artists alone could make an indelible mark on a city that would sustain for decades, a century, or more.  Yet Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s legacy in Mexico City – the fifth largest city in the world – is still very real and tangible.  As a photographer, theatre artist, and arts advocate, I feel at home in cities that embrace art, and Mexico City is no exception.  I relished every opportunity on my recent trip to experience the Mexico that Rivera and Kahlo knew and loved, taking in their art and visiting their homes and haunts.

In fact, I dedicated an entire day-and-a-half of my Mexico City vacation to my immersion into the world of Diego and Frida.

 Here’s where I went:
Museo Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo
 
Museo Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo
Calle Diego Rivera 2, Álvaro Obregón, San Angel Inn, 01060
+52 55 8647 5470
The home and studio of Diego Rivera where Frida Kahlo also lived and worked for many years, famous for its incredible architecture by Juan O’Gorman.
Time needed: 1 to 2 hours
 


 
San Ángel Inn
 
San Ángel Inn
Calle Diego Rivera 50, Álvaro Obregón, San Ángel Inn, 01060
+52 55 5616 1402
Across the street from Diego Rivera’s home and studio, the pair were known regulars at the bar in this gorgeous inn.
Time needed: 1 to 2 hours
 
 


Museo Frida Kahlo
 
Museo Frida Kahlo
Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, 04100
+52 55 5554 5999
La Casa Azul, Frida’s childhood home and where she lived for much of her adult life, made famous by the film, Frida.
Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
Tip: Reserve your visit online in advance!  Otherwise, there is a good chance you won’t get in.
 


Leon Trotsky Museum
 
Leon Trotsky Museum
Rio Churubusco 410, Coyoacán, Del Carmen, 04100
+52 55 5658 8732
Trotsky, a Soviet Marxist revolutionary, was granted political asylum in Mexico in 1936 due to his fans, Frida and Diego, urging the president of Mexico to do so.  He and his wife lived at Casa Azul until his affair with Frida made things dicey, at which time he bought his own house just a short walk from Casa Azul, which is now a museum.
Time needed: 1 to 2 hours
 


Palacio Nacional
Palacio Nacional
Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06066
+52 55 3688 1255
The seat of the federal executive in Mexico, this gorgeous federal complex is worth a long visit.  Part of the visit will be to take in Diego Rivera’s famous murals adorning the exterior walls of a major stairwell and several hallways.
Time needed: 2 to 3 hours
Tip: Allow extra time to check in with security.  They require a picture ID.  It would be a good idea to combine this visit with your visit to the historic center, zócalo, and cathedral.
 


If you are interested in seeing more of Diego’s artwork, this blogger outlines where to find other Rivera murals in the city.  Another museum to check out is the Anahuacalli Museum, built after Rivera’s death to house his huge art collection.

Stay tuned for blog posts outlining each of my experiences.  I’ll be starting with the moments of my adventures that stood out the most at Diego and Frida’s home and studio.

 

0 comments

  1. Gene Cunningham says:

    Love this. Forwarding to my mom (we got to see a lot of their work and history when she took me to mexico!)
    On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 3:58 AM, Gracefully Global Blog wrote:
    > Gracefully Global posted: ” It is hard to imagine that two artists alone > could make an indelible mark on a city that would sustain for decades, a > century, or more. Yet Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s legacy in Mexico City > – the fifth largest city in the world – is still very rea” >

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I totally get it – some places are like that. I finally ‘got’ history when I stood in the ruins of the Roman Forum. I looked at my feet and thought, ‘Julius Caesar once stood here!’ It made it real.

        • It really does! And memorable. What I read in history books I forget so much more quickly than what I’ve learned from visits! So glad you had such a good experience at the Roman Forum!

      • Ah, thank you Nicole!! I so appreciate that. Although it is funny, I was just thinking of you today regarding this too, as I am going to use a lot of what I’ve written in my Instagram posts in my blog posts. I only have a few active followers that follow me on both platforms (which is why I had thought of you) that might notice. My blog will have more photos and more detail in the writing, but because I don’t have a huge overlap between the two, I think I’ve decided it makes the most sense. I can only do so much, you know? You know too well, I can only imagine. 🙂

  2. Boots says:

    I e been to Mexico City many times but mostly for work. Unfortunately I’ve never been to Frida Kahlo’s museum. Someday…
    Nice blog, by the way! I’m writing this at 6am, but when I’m fully awake I’d like to read up on more posts! Have a great weekend!

    • Oh thank you!! I really appreciate that. :)) Do you every have any recreational time when you’re in the city? I imagine you’ve had some tasty meals! :)) Thanks so much for stopping by…

      • Boots says:

        When I used to work as a flight attendant, we always had time to do a little sightseeing but not a lot. The layovers weren’t long enough to explore the whole city. I did go back on my own and brought my fiancée (now husband) and my mom and did a lot in the outskirts of Mexico City. There was one night we had a wonderful dinner at a cozy but elegant restaurant and people were really dressed up. I wish I can still remember the name of the restaurant.
        Happy travels!

        • Sounds wonderful! 🙂 I never remember the names of restaurants either. But in recent years I’ve taken to marking them in my Google map, and that is a big help for my forgetfulness. :)) I’m glad you’ve gotten to enjoy the city a good amount. It has become one of my favorites!

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