Frida Kahlo, June 15, 1919. Photograph by her father, Guillermo Kahlo.

The great Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon on July 6, 1907. She was born in her family home, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), in Coyoacan, Mexico. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was a German-born photographer. The Mexican Revolution began in 1910, when Kahlo was three years old.

At age six, a disease (often thought to be polio, but thought by some historians to possibly be another, similar ailment) left Frida with a stunted right leg. She may have also suffered from the disease spina bifida. At age 15, Frida entered the National Preparatory School where she found she loved studying science, and decided that she wanted to become a doctor. When Kahlo was 18, she was badly injured, and nearly killed, in a terrible street accident. Her accident left her in terrible pain, and she had to recover for three months in a full body cast. She began to paint as she lay in bed and healed. After the accident, Kahlo changed her chosen vocation from medicine to painting, but she never left behind her girlhood interest in science and the natural world.

Next year the New York Botanical Garden will open the exhibition ‚ÄúFrida Kahlo‚Äôs Garden.‚Äù This show will focus on ‚Äúthe iconic artist’s engagement with nature in her native country of Mexico. . . and the first exhibition to focus exclusively on her intense interest in the botanical world.‚Äù

For more information on the life and work of Frida Kahlo, check out The Frida Kahlo Foundation.

-Emily Holm
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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