What to Expect at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Things to Do

What to Expect at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) is a bustling area known as a famous shopping district, but there’s something a little different you can now try out once you’ve shopped till you dropped. The Frida Kahlo Museum on Fifth offers a welcome respite from the busy street.

While you may see Kahlo’s face on many items for sale in Mexico, you may not actually be familiar with her work or what makes her so important to the Mexican people. This interactive museum is a great way for the uninitiated to get to know her work and story, or for established Frida fans to find out even more about their hero.


Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, 1926                                    Courtesy of Wikiart.org

Frida Kahlo Museum Playa del Carmen

The Frida Kahlo Museum is unable to have original works of Kahlo due to the weather conditions of the oceanside town of Playa del Carmen, but what you will find, is more of a guided tour through Kahlo’s life. An acoustic hologram display presents a state-of-the-art experience for visitors. Director of Cultural Projects of the Frida Kahlo Arts and Culture Foundation Abraham Mendoza told the Milenio newspaper that visitors to the museum will be “getting close to the life of the artist through a sensorial experience”. Film clips and interactive screens bring Kahlo’s world to life for visitors.

Cultural aficionados visiting Playa del Carmen are charmed by this new artistic location and it bodes well for art in the area—4.5 million tourists visit the area each year, and is the first museum to open! This attraction presents a creative alternative to the busy shopping district, and the air conditioning is icing on the cake. Note there are a few different Kahlo museums—this one is different from the Blue House/Casa Azul where Kahlo grew up (If you’re in Mexico City, check out that museum!). While the Blue House is the most famous Kahlo attraction, this new museum extends Kahlo’s legacy to the Playa del Carmen area.

For $15, guests can access the museum and take a guided tour in English or Spanish.


Frida Kahlo photographed as a child by her father, Guillermo Kahlo

Who was Frida Kahlo?

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist famous for her defiant self-portraits and vibrant use of nature and colors in her work. As a child, she had polio, which disabled her so she painted to entertain herself. She recovered as a teen, but at 18 was seriously injured when a bus she was riding collided with a streetcar. While recovering from this accident, she turned back to her childhood hobby of painting, which started her on the path to becoming one of Mexico’s greatest and most-beloved painters.


Fulang-Chang and I by Frida Kahlo                           Courtesy of Tim Evanson | Flickr.com

Her life itself holds fascination for many due to the autobiographical nature of her paintings. Fans of her paintings can’t help but want to know the story behind them, especially her intense stare in her folk art inspired self-portraits and those portraying her artist husband, Diego Rivera. Their relationship was a tumultuous one, and they divorced and remarried during their lifetime. Kahlo continued to struggle with health problems throughout her life but she overcame this to continue as an artist. Her style, attitude and tenacious spirit still resonate with people today.

It’s difficult to sum up her impact in one small article, but if you are intrigued, Playa del Carmen visitors should definitely visit the museum. What would Kahlo think about the spreading interest in her work? According to the artist herself,

“The only ones who die are those who never lived. And whoever lives on after death produces in those who come afterwards new sensations, longings and desires.”

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