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Media Advisory — June 4, 2009

Frida Kahlo Biographer Hayden Herrera
To Speak at the Harry Ransom Center


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

EVENT: Hayden Herrera, art historian and biographer of Frida Kahlo, presents "Frida Kahlo: Her Art and Life" for the 2009 Amon Carter Lecture.

This program will be webcast live at www.hrc.utexas.edu/webcast.

WHEN: Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 21st and Guadalupe streets.

BACKGROUND: 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.

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" was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. She has also written artists' 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. 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). Since 1990 the painting has been on almost continuous loan, featured in exhibitions at 28 museums in the United States, Australia, Canada, France and Spain. The portrait is on display at the Ransom Center from May 5 through March 21, 2010.

Seating is free, but limited.



Media Contact for members of the press

Elizabeth Page
Head of Communications and Marketing

Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin TX 78713-7219


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