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"Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving" Digital Curator Discussion

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Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Dr. Leo Eloesser, 1940

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Dr. Leo Eloesser, 1940 Oil on Masonite. Private Collection ©️ 2020 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Join Hillary Olcott, coordinating curator for the de Young’s presentation of Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, in conversation with guest curator Circe Henestrosa and advising curator Gannit Ankori as they give a behind-the-scenes look at the highly anticipated exhibition.

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About the Curators

Circe Henestrosa
Circe Henestrosa is a Mexican independent fashion curator and is head of the School of Fashion at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. She curated the exhibition Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo (2012) at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán, Mexico, and also co-curated the blockbuster exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up (2018) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her curatorial practice explores how garments and material culture inform and reflect social-cultural aspects of fashion within the exhibition context. She is currently reading for her PhD at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, focusing on the areas of fashion and disability. Her publications include Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, Frida by Ishiuchi, and Building a New Model for Museums in the 21st Century. Instagram: @circehenestrosa

Gannit Ankori
Gannit Ankori is Professor of Fine Arts and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. Ankori is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking scholarship on Frida Kahlo. Her books include Frida Kahlo (Critical Lives series, 2013; reissued in 2018 and translated in Chinese in 2018); Frida Kahlo: Art, Life Diary (2004; in Hebrew); and Imaging Her Selves: Frida Kahlo’s Poetics of Identity and Fragmentation (2002). Major essays include “Frida Kahlo: The Fabric of Her Art” (Tate Modern, 2005); and “Frida Kahlo: Posing, Composing, Exposing” published in conjunction with the 2018 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up. She has curated several exhibitions around the world and has collaborated with Circe Henestrosa on Kahlo exhibitions in New York, London and San Francisco.

Hillary Olcott
Hillary Olcott is Associate Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and is the de Young's coordinating curator for Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving. She was the co-curator of the ongoing exhibitions at the de Young museum, Of Courts and Cosmos: Art of the Ancient Maya, and Native Artists of Western North America: In Dialogue with the Natural World, and she served as Fine Arts Museum’s institutional curator for the major special exhibition, Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire (2017–2018).

About the Exhibition

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving examines how politics, gender, trauma, and national identity influenced Kahlo’s diverse modes of creativity. The exhibition features highly personal items, which came to light in 2004 at her lifelong home, La Casa Azul (now Museo Frida Kahlo) in Mexico City—including approximately 30 photographs, 20 vibrant Tehuana costumes from her wardrobe, and personalized braces and prosthetics—alongside paintings and drawings by the iconic artist and photographs reflecting her unique self-fashioning.

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