The MSU Broad presents 'Kahlo Without Borders'

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The MSU Broad presents 'Kahlo Without Borders'
Cristina Kahlo, Hoja clínica, agosto 1953, 1953. Courtesy the artist and Archivo Histórico Centro Médico ABC.

EAST LANSING, MICH.- The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University presents Kahlo Without Borders, on view Jan. 15–Aug. 7, 2022. This exhibition coincides with the museum’s 10th year anniversary, as part of a roster of exhibitions highlighting the Zaha Hadid-designed building, the museum’s collections, and the conversations between the unique architecture and artwork within.

Curated by photographer, and Frida Kahlo’s grandniece, Cristina Kahlo, MSU Broad Art Museum executive director Dr. Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, and Javier Roque Vázquez Juárez, Kahlo Without Borders will include photographs and facsimiles from family archives belonging to Cristina Kahlo and other collections such as the Oaxaca Museum of Stamp Collecting (Museo de la Filatelia en Oaxaca), and never-before-seen medical archives from the Medical Center ABC in Mexico City, where Frida Kahlo was interned on several occasions.

"We are delighted to contribute to Frida Kahlo's scholarship by making important primary sources, her clinical files, publicly available for the first time,” explains Ramírez-Montagut. “Equally important is that from this evidence of health challenges, we revisit the tremendous respect and appreciation Frida Kahlo had for her healthcare providers, a roster of doctors and nurses who are now recognized, giving them due visibility."

Kahlo Without Borders seeks to connect museum visitors to the intimate and creative world of Frida Kahlo and her unique support system of close friends, family members, and health care providers. By blurring the boundaries between her internal and external worlds, the exhibition focuses on the time towards the end of her life when she was a patient at the Medical Center ABC. Recently revealed documents pertaining to her final hospital stay will be publicly on view for the first time and are of paramount interest equally to biographers, specialists in the field of art history, healthcare workers, and the public at large. This unexpected, interdisciplinary (boldly traversing the fields of art and healthcare) yet intimate approach to the worlds of Frida Kahlo will be presented as a journey through images, documents, and family and clinical archives. The journey is similar to an enthralling experience of browsing through a family scrapbook or a trunk of memories. These photographs, letters, and clinical files bear witness to Kahlo’s personal and health challenges encouraging the visitor to give consideration on how, from a hospital bed and through the power of creativity and self-expression, she transformed the history of art for the 20th century.

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