Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and More: Visiting Mexico City’s House Museums
Enlarge this image toggle caption Carlos Romero/Getty Images Carlos Romero/Getty Images
The National Museum of Anthropology in the Centro de Investigaciones y Desarrollo del Libro in Mexico City is, among museums, one of the most distinctive and influential, a true institution serving as a kind of time capsule of the state’s long history.
There, in a museum that occupies a century-old house, you can find a large array of artifacts from across Mexico’s great pre-Columbian cultures and from North America and Africa. Some of the exhibits, along with videos, films and other treasures, are on view for most of the day. A special program, the museum’s own version of MOMA’s “World of Art”, has begun every Tuesday, and usually attracts about 100 people at a time.
The museum’s visitors are drawn to its unusual, eclectic assortment of objects from both ancient and modern time. There is a large collection of ancient pieces, both art and architecture, a collection of pre-Columbian art and culture, and a huge number of modern and contemporary art pieces.
But the museum’s specialties go beyond art; they are also devoted to anthropology. For example, it is the home of Diego Rivera’s famous mural The Last Supper, and many pieces of that mural are in the collection, along with pieces of Mexican artists who have illustrated Rivera’s masterpiece. Another example of art from the museum is the artwork of Frida Kahlo, who lived, died and is buried in Mexico City from 1934 to 1986. As the founder and head of the Kahlo Museum, the museum is also the home of one of her most important possessions – her headstone on which she wrote “I am yours to love forever.” In short, you are not likely to find a more important cultural institution in Mexico City.
One would expect that there would be a great deal of interest in the art that is housed in the museum when it was under construction as the first art