San Francisco played a pivotal role in the life of artist Frida Kahlo.
It’s here that she wed Diego Rivera and befriended Dr. Eloesser who became her life-long confidant. See images below.
Here’s how San Francisco impacted her life and how she left her mark on the City by the Bay!
On November 10th, Frida (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957) arrive in San Francisco where Diego has been commissioned to paint murals in the Luncheon Club of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and the California School of Fine Arts [now the San Francisco Art Institute].
Frida meets photographers Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston; art patron Albert Bender, sculptor Ralph Stackpole, and the painter Arnold Blanch and his wife Lucile.
While Diego paints his murals, Frida paints “Frieda and Diego Rivera”, a double portrait based on a wedding photograph. Her art style moved from a broad, mural-like handling to a folkloric mode based on nineteenth-century Mexican portraiture.
Diego Rivera comes back to San Francisco for 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition at Treasure Island. His Pan American Unity murals commissioned for the World’s Fair are now at the San Francisco City College.
In November 1940, Dr. Eloesser convinces Diego Rivera to reconcile and marry Frida Kahlo a second time. Frida was already his third wife, and had already divorced him.
On December 8th, Diego’s 54th birthday, Frida and Diego are married for a second time. Frida departs for Mexico before the end of the year and Rivera remains in San Francisco.
The pictures (mostly portraits) that Kahlo painted in San Francisco reveal her interest in nineteenth-century Mexican folk portraiture and popular art.
First, a video!
Check Rio Yanez’s fantastic Ghetto Frida artwork and his Ghetto Frida Mural film.
Let’s begin with a historic photo:
This unusual photograph (below) appeared in the March 1941 edition of San Francisco Life, a tourist publication that featured restaurants that paid for advertisements in the magazine. The photo was taken at Cathay House, 718 California, at Grant Ave., probably in January or early February 1941.
please scroll down to see entire gallery. we’ve also included a few baby pics and other iconic images.