“Feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly.”
Fans remember Frida Kahlo as a beacon of female empowerment, resilience, and unconventional beauty. The Mexican artist is idolized for her strong brow, bright Tehuana-influenced style, and bohemian “I don’t care what you think” attitude, showcased in her surreal self-portraits and emotional journal entries.
While the largest collection of Kahlo’s work remains in Mexico City at Casa Azul, her former home-turned-museum, a new exhibit at The Dalí Museum in Saint Petersburg, Florida, offers a glimpse into Kahlo’s paintings and life. More than 60 pieces (plus an accompanying audio tour narrated by actress Susan Sarandon) shed light on Frida’s past, from the 1925 bus accident that left her severely injured at 18 to her passionate (and often tumultuous) marriage to artist Diego Rivera. Here you can read fascinating notes on display, admire the way she portrayed herself in paintings, and watch old footage of her laughing with friends.
The Dalí houses the largest permanent collection of Spanish artist Salvador Dalí’s work outside of Europe. The stunning concrete- and glass building – designed as a nod to the artist’s eccentric style – overlooks Tampa Bay and is part of Saint Petersburg’s revitalized Waterfront Park. It’s also home to one of my favorite museum boutiques. I left after my recent visit with a Frida Kahlo enamel pin (pictured at right), my new favorite accessory. Be sure to visit the museum’s Avant-garden, where you’ll find a small homage to Kahlo’s Casa Azul courtyard. And don’t forget to tie your admission wristband to the museum’s Wish Tree, the museum’s arborescent version of a wishing well.
STAY: An hour drive south, the 266-room Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota overlooks Sarasota Bay and provides easy access to some of the Gulf Coast’s prettiest beaches. Virtuoso-exclusive amenities include breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.
Frida Kahlo at The Dalí is open through April 17. Admission, $24.