I am home from the Mexico Quilt Expo in Mexico City, and it was such a pleasure to meet so many of our customers who came to the show to hear my lectures! Many new friends were made, and we enjoyed sharing our passion for quiltmaking.
While in Mexico City I managed to squeeze in a day and a half of touring, including a visit to Frida Kahlo's Blue House. (where she grew up, and where she lived with Diego Rivera) I also visited their studio which is 2 buildings connected by a bridge on the 3rd level.
Frida's art supplies and studio are on the 2nd floor of the blue house, with 2 walls of windows that look out over the garden and the fountain, surrounded by the cobalt blue walls. Also in this house is her bed, made famous in the movie "Frida". This is where she made many of her paintings. The embroidered pillow above was on her bed.
Her collections of artistic objects are all over the house. It was a very intimate experience. Her library of books, her pens and brushes on her bed stand, and frog-shaped terra cotta urn that held her ashes on the bedroom dresser...made us feel that she had left the rooms only recently.
The Mexican style kitchen had traditional blue and yellow tiles, and reminded me of Monet's house and studio in Giverny, France.
There is a temporary exhibit there now, sponsored by Mexico Vogue, featuring Frida's garments, corsets, braces and even her prosthetic leg with a bright red flowered shoe. Despite her polio, her streetcar accident, and later amputation, she had a carefully constructed persona and image that was expressed through her clothing made from traditional Mexican textiles.
We met a boatman at Xochimilco who had known both Frida and Diego while they were still alive. He worked for Dolores Olmedo and knew the artistic couple from when they spent time at the Olmedo estate. We asked him to tell us something special about them. He said that no matter who they spoke to, they were always kind and respectful, even if it was a poor uneducated peasant, even though they were great celebrities and very successful in their time.
The collage above features Frida Kahlo themed fabrics by Alexander Henry.
I will let you know when I post photos from Frida's house, and the Quilt Expo.