Search form

Life and Times of Frida Kahlo - Timeline

The following timeline chronicles the life and career of the 20th-century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in relation to the events of her time. Included are highlights from contemporaneous art movements and Mexican history that took place during the 47 years of Kahlo's life.

1907

* Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon is born July 6 to Matilde Calderon y Gonzales and Guillermo Kahlo - a German-Jewish émigré photographer - in Coyoacan, Mexico.
* Ongoing art movements are happening concurrently: post-impressionism, fauvism, Ashcan School, modernism and expressionism.

1908

* Beginning of cubist art movement.

1909

* Beginning of futurist art movement.

1910

* Kahlo later claims this is the year she was born.
* The Mexican Revolution overthrows President Porfirio Diaz.

1911

* Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata leads peasant uprising in Morelos, Mexico.

1913

* President Madero killed in a coup, Victoriano Huerta proclaims himself Mexican President.
* Francisco Pancho Villa leads raids in northern Mexico.

1914

* Kahlo contracts polio, spends nine months in her room.
* United States invades Vera Cruz, Mexico.

1917

* Venustiano Carranza's Mexican constitution sets the ground for reforms.
* Vladimir Lenin returns to Russia, leads Bolshevik Revolution in November.

1918

* End of Ashcan School art movement.

1919

* Beginning of Bauhaus art movement.

1920

* Beginning of art deco, surrealist art movements and Harlem Renaissance.

1922

* Kahlo begins premedical program at the Preparatoria in Mexico City, where Diego Rivera is painting murals.
* Mexican muralist movement begins.

1923

* Lenin heads USSR.

1924

* Kahlo is dating fellow student Alejandro Gomez Arias.
* Lenin dies; Joseph Stalin comes to power.

1925

* Kahlo accepts an apprenticeship with Fernando Fernandez, an artist and her father's friend.
* Kahlo's life-altering bus accident takes place; she begins to paint.
* End of expressionist art movement.

1926

* Kahlo's first medical relapse.
* Kahlo creates "Self-Portrait Wearing a Velvet Dress."

1927

* Kahlo joins the Communist Party.
* Alejandro Gomez Arias moves to Berlin and Kahlo sends him numerous love letters.

1928

* Kahlo completes "Portrait of Christina, My Sister."
* Kahlo and Rivera begin courting.
* Rivera paints Kahlo in "Distribution of Arms" at the Ministry of Education.

1929

* Kahlo marries Rivera on August 21 and experiences her first miscarriage.
* Kahlo completes "Self-Portrait," "The Bus," "Two Women" and "Time Flies."
* Rivera is kicked out of the Communist Party.
* Kahlo and Rivera move to Cuernavaca, Mexico; Kahlo meets personal physician Leo Eloesser.

1930

* The Riveras move to San Francisco.
* Kahlo completes "Self-Portrait (pink background, blue blouse)."
* End of art deco and Bauhaus art movements.

1931

* Kahlo completes "Frida and Diego Rivera (The Wedding Portrait)"; it is shown at the Sixth Annual Exhibit of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists.

1932

* Kahlo has a miscarriage and spends 13 days in Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital; paints "Henry Ford Hospital," "Self-Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States" and "My Birth."
* Kahlo's mother, Matilde Calderon y Gonzales, dies.

1933

* Rockefeller Center rescinds Rivera's commission for a mural featuring Lenin; Kahlo and Rivera return to Mexico.
* The Riveras buy homes in Mexico City and San Angel.
* Kahlo completes "Autoretrato con Collar" and "Self-Portrait (Very Ugly)."

1934

* Kahlo is hospitalized; she suffers from an appendicitis, has an abortion, undergoes foot surgery.
* The couple separates after Rivera has an affair with Kahlo's sister Cristina.
* General Lazaro Cardenas elected president of Mexico and begins program of agrarian reform, redistributing land and building power of organized labor.

1935

* Kahlo completes "A Few Small Nips" and "Self-Portrait with Curly Hair."
* Kahlo has an affair with sculptor Isamu Noguchi; she eventually moves back in with Rivera.

1936

* The Riveras help arrange Russian communist Leon Trotsky's asylum into Mexico.
* Kahlo completes "My Grandparents, Parents and Me."
* Rivera and Kahlo raise money for republicans against Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War.
* Rivera joins the Trotskyite International Communist League.

1937

* Trotsky and wife Natalia move in with the Riveras; Kahlo has an affair with Trotsky.
* Kahlo completes "Portrait of Diego Rivera," "Self-Portrait (Dedicated to Leon Trotsky, Behind the Curtains)," "Autoretrato con Cama," "Mi Nana y Yo," "Recuerdo," "Me and My Doll" and "Memory."

1938

* French surrealist André Breton stays with the Riveras.
* Edward G. Robinson buys four Kahlo paintings.
* Kahlo has a 25-piece show in New York City's Julian Levy gallery; she completes "Fruits of the Earth," "Self-Portrait with Monkey," "What the Water Gave Me," "Fruits of the Earth," "Still Life with Prickly Pears," "Self-Portrait with Itzcuintli Dog," "Four Inhabitants of Mexico," "Girl with Death Mask," "Frame," "Tunas" and "Pitahayas."
* Dies Commission polices Communist, rather than Nazi, activity in the United States.

1939

* Kahlo and American photographer Nickolas Muray become lovers.
* The Louvre purchases a Kahlo self-portrait.
* Kahlo and Rivera divorce.
* Kahlo completes "The Two Fridas," "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale" and "Earth Itself (Two Nudes).
* Kahlo sails to France and stays with André Breton in Paris; she travels to New York City then onto Mexico.

1940

* Kahlo travels to San Francisco to see personal physician Leo Eloesser; has an affair with Heinz Berggruen; remarries Rivera in December.
* Kahlo completes "Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair," "Self-Portrait With Monkey," "The Dream," "The Wounded Table" and "Self- Portrait to Dr. Eloesser."
* Beginning of abstract expressionist art movement.
* Trotsky is assassinated in Mexico.

1941

* Kahlo's father, Guillermo, dies; her depression exacerbates her poor health.
* Kahlo's work is included in the "Modern Mexican Painters" exhibit at the Institution of Modern Art in Boston.
* Kahlo completes "Self-Portrait," "Autoretrato con Trenza," "Autoretrato con Vestido Rojo y Dorado" and "Self-Portrait with Bonito."

1942

* Kahlo's work is included in "20th-Century Portraits" at the Museum of Modern Art.
* Kahlo completes "Self-Portrait with Monkey and Parrot."

1943

* Kahlo joins the faculty of Education Ministry's School of Painting and Sculpture.
* Kahlo completes "Roots," "Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on My Mind)," "La Novia que se Espanta de Ver la Vida Abierta," "Self-Portrait with Monkeys" and "Retrato de la Senora Natasha Gelman."

1944

* Kahlo completes "Portrait of Dona Rosita Morillo," "Diego and Frida" and "The Broken Column."
* Her physical decline becoming more acute, Kahlo begins keeping a diary.

1945

* Kahlo paints "Without Hope."
* Mexican photographer Lola Alvarez Bravo takes a series of photos of Kahlo.

1946

* Kahlo completes "The Little Deer," "Tree of Hope" and "The Wounded Stag."
* The Ministry of Education awards Kahlo the National Prize of Arts and Sciences.
* In June, Kahlo undergoes a bone-graft operation, then goes on morphine for pain.

1947

* Kahlo completes "Self-Portrait with Loose Hair."
* Rivera is hospitalized for bronchial pneumonia.

1948

* Kahlo reapplies - and is accepted - to the Communist Party.

1949

* Kahlo completes "The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Diego, Me and Senor Xolotl" and "Diego and I."
* Kahlo develops gangrene in her foot.

1950

* Kahlo undergoes six operations on her spine, spends most of the year in the hospital.
* Beginning of pop art movement.

1951

* Kahlo paints "Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill" and "Weeping Coconuts."
* Kahlo is confined to a wheelchair. Nurses take care of her and administer painkillers.

1952

* Kahlo begins series of still-life paintings.

1953

* Kahlo's right leg is amputated below the knee.
* Kahlo attends her only one-person show in Mexico, at the Mexico City Gallery of Contemporary Art from her four-poster bed.

1954

* Kahlo paints "Frida and Stalin," "Marxism Will Give Health to the Sick" and "Viva la Vida."
* Days before her death, Kahlo attends a protest against CIA intervention in Guatemala.
* Kahlo dies July 13 from a pulmonary embolism.

Welcome back!

Connect with WETA

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Press Contacts