Playa del Carmen is the cultural epicenter of Riviera Maya with close proximity to a plethora of Mayan ruins and ancient cenotes, as well as numerous museums and attractions in the heart of the city. Playa del Carmen is home to the 3D Museum of Wonders, L’Aquarium Playa del Carmen, Xplor Cancun Park, Xcaret Eco Theme Park, Tequila Academy and more.
The most recent addition to Playa del Carmen’s list of attractions is the Frida Kahlo Museum, now located on Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue. This vibrant museum opened to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Kahlo’s birth, which was in July of 1907. The museum includes a mix of audiovisual installations and exhibits, but the best feature is the collection of Kahlo’s own artwork. Kahlo is known for having a tumultuous life and for creating controversial art.
Kahlo was born in Coyoacan, a village just outside of Mexico City. You can visit her house today, but if you don’t make it outside of Riviera Maya, this new museum will give you a taste of her life and the story behind her art.
Kahlo was a Mexican painter who created mostly self-portraits. She painted in a folk art style to present questions of identity, post colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. She is famous for mixing realism and fantasy, and she is often described as a surrealist, or magical realist. Kahlo is celebrated internationally for feminism and her uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
As a child, Kahlo was disabled by polio and at just 18 years old, Kahlo was injured from a traffic accident. The accident prevented her from pursuing higher education in medical school, so she entertained the idea of becoming an artist. In 1927 Kahlo joined the Mexican Communist Party where she met muralist Diego Rivera. They married in 1928, but they both had affairs and divorced in 1939. They remarried the following year and remained a couple until Kahlo’s death in 1954. Kahlo died at age 47.
Kahlo’s health declined toward the end of her life due to immense back pain. She had a bone graft and steel support fused to her spine to straighten it. The difficult operation was a failure, and Kahlo did not rest as required. She reopened her wounds in a fit of anger. In 1950 she underwent a new bone graft surgery, which caused infection and several follow-up surgeries. In August 1953 Kahlo’s right leg was amputated due to gangrene. In her final days, Kahlo was bedridden with bronchopneumonia and died from pulmonary embolism.
Even during her sickness, Kahlo was active in politics and made public appearances at demonstrations, including a demonstration against the CIA invasion of Guatemala in her last days. She attended one of her exhibits via ambulance and stayed in a bed throughout the entire event. She struggled with painkillers and attempted overdose.
A chronological storyline of photos and diagrams explains Kahlo’s major life events and explains the history behind her art. A miniature theater displays a 15-minute video with additional information.
You can also enjoy artwork inspired by Kahlo at this museum, created by other artists.
This is the second location of the museum—the first is in Mexico City.
General public entrance is $15 USD. Students and senior citizens receive a 10% discount. The museum is open daily from 9am-11pm. The Frida Kahlo Restaurant is on the upper two levels of the museum.
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