Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Viva Mexico

[Photos by Courtney Barnes unless credited otherwise.]

Toward the end of January I mentioned that the first signs of Fridamania were evident in the High's gift shop. Today, though, I can report that two on-site museum stores have embraced Mexican style and design full-tilt.

After months of anticipation, Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting opens to the public tomorrow. With the Atlanta museum being the only U.S. venue for this exhibition, the gift shop shelves are overflowing with wares ranging from tongue-in-cheek Frida finger puppets and paper dolls to finely crafted Mexican textiles, tooled leather goods, glass, jewelry and baskets. 

Vivid pops of color definitely abound (beautiful fuchsias, deep turquoises and emeralds) but softly hued and neutral pieces caught my eye too. For example, table linens from art historian turned designer / product developer Maggie Galton. Echoing Frida Kahlo's passion for traditional Mexican craft and textiles, Galton collaborates with craftspeople in indigenous communities to revive waning art forms. Her company's cocktail napkins are pictured above, and also shown here is a little detail of a basket by Jan Barboglio.    

[Image via the High.]

Pride in Mexico is a strong theme running through the landmark exhibition (a must-see, BTW), so the handicrafts in the shops are a terrific addition to the expected postcards and such (that said, I always love leaving museums with postcards to tack on my inspiration boards).

If you mostly associate Rivera with his larger than life murals, this show offers a wonderful opportunity to explore not just those but his smaller, sensitive portraits and Cubists works as well. And a significant chunk of Kahlo’s entire oeuvre -- I think over a quarter -- is featured, including her most famous self portraits, lesser known drawings, still lifes and one of her own painted body casts. An entire gallery is devoted to iconic photos of Frida (alone and with Diego). Some of these portraits are by photographer Nickolas Murray. You can get a small sense of the eye-popping exhibition design here and here but the Rojo room by Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena from design consultancy THiNC is of course best appreciated in person.

Details on the Valentine's night opening party and other Frida links here.

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