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Philbrook to host major Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera exhibition spanning galleries and gardens

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism Set to Open July 6, 2022

TULSA, OK., June 6, 2022 — It’s time to experience FRIDA AT PHILBROOK. In what’s sure to be one of the region’s premier cultural attractions of Summer 2022, Philbrook Museum of Art will present the special exhibition, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism. Experience work by one of the art world’s most famous power couples though original paintings, drawings, prints, clothing, and over 100 photographs. 

“One of the things I love most about museums is their capacity to bring communities together,” said Philbrook President and CEO Scott Stulen. “This special exhibition gives us the potential to do just that and take a it to a new level.” 

Drawn from the collection Jacques and Natasha Gelman, philanthropists who acquired works from the artists themselves, this exhibition marks the first ever Tulsa presentation of paintings by Kahlo, Rivera, and many of their contemporaries. Of these works, seven are Kahlo’s self-portraits, including her iconic 1943 painting Diego on my Mind. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism will be on view July 6-September, 2022. 

The exhibition takes a closer look at the role that art, artists, and their supporters played in the emergence of national identity and creative spirit in the period following the Mexican Revolution. In 1920, Mexico was a new constitutional republic addressing economic and social inequities imposed under centuries of Spanish colonial rule, and artists were giving visual form to such ideals as communal use of land, and celebrating ancestral traditions and Indigenous identities. In post-revolution Mexico, many public gardens were re-introducing native plants that had been displaced during 400 years of Spanish occupation. This movement was an effort to re-Indigenize common spaces, evoke the Mexican countryside for city dwellers, and inspire a greater sense of national pride in Mexico’s cultural and botanical roots. 

Spanning several galleries throughout the Museum, the exhibition also extends into the 25-acre Philbrook Gardens, giving visitors a taste of what it was like to be in the garden at Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City home, La Casa Azul (The Blue House). Both Frida and Diego connected to the land through their love of gardens, an inspiration seen in many of their works that prominently feature calla lilies, cacti, sunflowers, and other plants native to the region. 

“To Frida and Diego, these plants held nationalistic significance,” said Rachel Keith, Deputy Director, Audience Engagement & Curatorial Affairs . “Especially for their connection to pre-Hispanic cultural and spiritual traditions and for manifesting Mexicanidad—being uniquely Mexican.” 

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism offers a deep exploration of the real people behind this work—and how their personas and their artistic practice continue to resonate with audiences today. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime happening. 

The Exhibition is organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL). 

Support for this project is provided in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a grant from the Flint Family Foundation, and support from donors to Philbrook’s Exhibition Series. 

FAST FACTS: 

Frida Kahla, Diego Rivers, and Mexican Modernism

Dates: July 6-Septemer 11, 2022

Pricing: Free for Philbrook Members, Regular admission +5 for Not-yet Members

Advance tickets required.

For tickets and full list of Frida-related programs visit philbrook.org/Frida

Press images/captions available upon request. 

About Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art is committed to being Tulsa’s most welcoming and engaging cultural institution, providing a unique trifecta of experiences: a historic home, world class art museum, 25 acres of gardens. Philbrook Museum of Art opened on October 25, 1939. The addition of a 70,000 square foot wing in 1990 turned the historic home into a modern museum complex. A major garden renovation in 2004 cemented the Museum’s reputation as “the most beautiful place in Oklahoma.” Through bold action and strategic investment, we create a space for new ideas, diverse stories and perspectives, and social connection. The Philbrook Collection features more than 16,000 objects with a focus on American, Native American, and European art. Serving over 160,000 visitors annually, Philbrook shines a light on Tulsa’s storied and complex past while building a diverse and creative vision of the city’s future.

Press Contact:

Jeff Martin, Director of Communications

(o) 918.748.5352

(m) 918.697.9042 (preferred)

jmartin@philbrook.org

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