With her piercing gaze, flower-adorned coiffures, and bold sartorial choices, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) made herself instantly recognizable. After her death, her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, locked her personal effects in her Mexico City bathroom, stipulating they remain sealed for 15 years after his own death.
His wish was forgotten, however, and her belongings remained there for more than five decades. Leaving Mexico for the first time ever, this trove of some 200 objects goes on view at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum beginning June 16 in “Making Her Self Up.”
Kahlo’s Tehuana skirts, hand-painted corsets, pre-Columbian jewelry, and letters are complemented by her self-portraits and the photographs Nickolas Muray took of her, such as the one at left. Here is a selection of the objects that will be on view through November 4.
A version of this article first appeared in print in our Summer 2018 Issue in the section called The Artful Life. Subscribe to the magazine.