Frida Kahlo's Garden

Explore Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's plants and paintings, featured at the New York Botanical Garden.

Photo By: Photo by Nickolas Murray / Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden /Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, © 2015 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York  

 


Photo By: Photo by Robert Benson / Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen / Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden / Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin © 2015 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Photo By: Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen / Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen / Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Photo By: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden / Private collection © 2015 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York  


Frida Kahlo

Known for her depictions of the natural world, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was one of Mexico's most famous artists. She's pictured here in 1938, posing before a cactus fence and lava-stone wall.

Swiss Cheese Plant

Called the Swiss Cheese Plant for the holes in its huge leaves, this Monstera deliciosa represents one of the many natives Kahlo grew at her home in Mexico. She was also fond of dahlias and often wore the blossoms in her hair.

Canna 'South Pacific Scarlet'

Canna lilies like the ones in the Kahlo exhibit come in red, yellow, pink, white, orange and red. This variety, 'South Pacific Scarlet', may not have actually grown in her Mexican garden, but it would have tolerated the hot, humid conditions.

Kahlo's Still Life with Parrot and Fruit

Late in life, Kahlo painted a number of still life scenes like this one, saying they were easier than her usual self-portraits.  This 1951 canvas illustrates her use of vivid colors and details.

Casa Azul at the New York Botanical Garden

Kahlo's birthplace and home, Casa Azul, or Blue House, is represented in this New York Botanical Garden's exhibit. After her death, her real home, in Mexico City, was turned into a museum.

Kahlo's Pyramid

Kahlo installed a tiered pyramid in her garden to display pre-Hispanic artifacts and other items collected by her husband, Diego Rivera. Here, terra-cotta pots hold a variety of cacti and succulents. This scale version of the pyramid is part of the Kahlo exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden.

Kahlo Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace

This self-portrait, painted by Kahlo in 1940, uses a thorny necklace to symbolize the lifelong physical pain she endured after a bus accident. Although she's shown against a background of healthy green and yellow leaves, the motionless black hummingbird seems to reflect her loss of vitality.

Kahlo's Garden Colors

Kahlo and her husband planted cacti, succulents, and other desert and tropical plants around their home. The NYBG exhibit includes calla lilies, sunflowers, marigolds, dahlias, oleander, ferns, bougainvillea and more.

Eve's Needle Cactus

Austrocylindropuntia subulata, or Eve's Needle Cactus, is a tree-like cactus native to the high mountains of Peru and Ecuador. On display in the New York Botanical Garden conservatory, it's part of a re-imagining of Frida Kahlo's garden. 

Crinum 'Mexican Pink'

Sometimes called hot country lilies, crinums are perennial bulbs for sunny areas. Zinnias, philodendrums, marigolds, succulents, prickly pears, roses, orange trees and many other plants evoke the spirit of Kahlo's garden and art.

Elephant's Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris')

Elephant ear plants like this one still grow around Frida Kahlo's home, Casa Azul., which is now open to the public as a museum. She often included foliage plants and cacti in her paintings.

Tile Fountain

The NYBG exhibit features a tile fountain that is a downsized version of one at Kahlo's home. The frog mosaic on the bottom reflects her nickname for her husband, "toad-frog."

Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis)

The exhibit at The New York Botanical Garden, Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, isn't an exact recreation of the artist's garden However, an Old Man Cactus like this one can be seen in a  1951 photo of her garden.

Kahlo Sunflower Portrait

In this 1954 self-portrait, Kahlo envisioned herself as a wilting sunflower. She destroyed the painting before it was finished, so it's not well-known. By putting her own face inside the bloom, Kahlo seems to signal her identification with plants.