Frida Kahlo biographer to speak at the Ransom Center

Fritz Henle. Frida Kahlo at Xochimilco, Mexico. 1937. © Fritz Henle Estate.

Fritz Henle. Frida Kahlo at Xochimilco, Mexico. 1937. © Fritz Henle Estate.

For the 2009 Amon Carter Lecture, Hayden Herrera, art historian and biographer of Frida Kahlo, presents “Frida Kahlo: Her Art and Life” at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 18 at the Harry Ransom Center.

Herrera’s talk interweaves Frida Kahlo’s art and life, focusing on her childhood, the accident that turned her to painting, her tumultuous marriage to the muralist Diego Rivera, Rivera’s influence and other sources of inspiration for Kahlo’s art, Kahlo’s childlessness, her frequent surgeries and her passionate love for her native Mexico.

Seating is free, but limited. This program will be webcast live.

Herrera is a New York-based art historian and critic whose first book, “Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo,” was published in 1983 and in 2002 became the basis for a major motion picture. Her second full-length biography, “Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work,” published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2003, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. She has also written artist’s biographies, including “Mary Frank” (1990), “Matisse: A Portrait” (1993) and “Joan Snyder” (2005). Herrera has curated a number of exhibitions, including a Frida Kahlo show that opened at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in 1978 and traveled for a year in the United States. More recently she co-curated the Frida Kahlo centennial exhibition that opened at the Walker Art Center in 2007 and traveled to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Currently she is working on a biography of the sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

Herrera’s talk is in conjunction with the homecoming of one of the Ransom Center’s most famous and frequently borrowed art works, Frida Kahlo’s “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940). The portrait is on display at the Ransom Center through January 3, 2010.