Reopening of SF's de Young Museum Accelerated to Early July With West Coast Premiere of Frida Kahlo Exhibition

  • June 23, 2020 16:08

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Toni Frissell (1907-1988) Frida Kahlo (Senora Diego Rivera) standing next to an agave plant, during a photo shoot for Vogue magazine, "Senoras of Mexico", 1937 Negative, nitrate. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Toni Frissell Collection, LC-DIG-ds-05052
Rebozo with Rapacejo (knotted fringe); Silk shirt with Chinese Embroidered Panel & Holán (ruffle). Photographs: Javier Hinojosa Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums. Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

"Feet, what do I need them for

If I have wings to fly" – Frida Kahlo

San Francisco will allow museums to reopen earlier than expected, pending state approval, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. Instead of the anticipated August reopening, the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park will open to members Tuesday, July 7, and to the public on Friday, July 10, while its sister institution, the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park will open to members July 14 and to the public July 17. Visit the museums' website for ticketing, updates and visitor guidelines.

Days prior to the museum's shutdown in March due to COVID-19, the exhibition Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving was installed at the de Young. Offering a perspective on the iconic artist unknown to most, this acclaimed traveling exhibition reveals the ways in which politics, gender, disability, and national identity informed Kahlo’s life, art, and multifaceted creativity.

Making its West Coast premiere, Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving features a selection of Kahlo’s possessions from her lifelong home, La Casa Azul, now the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. It was in San Francisco that Kahlo began to cultivate her now-iconic Tehuana style and her identity as a painter.

“San Francisco had a deep impact on Frida Kahlo. While here, Kahlo saw people in our diverse city wearing their ethnic dress and, realizing the statement this made, began to develop her style as an expression of her mexicanidad,” explains Hillary Olcott, Associate Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. “Kahlo loved San Francisco and her time here and elsewhere in the United States (or “Gringolandia,” as she called it) was formative and complex.”

The Kahlo exhibition will premiere upon the de Young's reopening and Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI will continue.

Trevor Paglen, "They Took the Faces from the Accused and the Dead... (SD18)", 2019, Installation view from Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI, February 22 - October 25, 2020, de Young, San Francisco. Photography by Gary Sexton, Courtesy of the artist, Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Judy Chicago: A Retrospective has been postponed to summer 2021. Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave will open at the Legion of Honor in fall 2020.

In celebration of the de Young museum’s 125th anniversary, The de Young Open, a juried community art exhibition, launched an open call for submissions relating to the theme “On the Edge,” by SF Bay Area artists. The exhibition will be on view in the de Young museum’s Herbst Exhibition Galleries.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, said, “Amid these uncertain times, this new initiative expands the Fine Arts Museums’ ongoing commitment to the Bay Area community and serves as a celebratory sign of our community’s strength and resilience. From local artists to art lovers, we look forward to welcoming our visitors back to the de Young museum this summer with this epochal exhibition.”

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