Editor’s note: This article was originally published September 5, 2014
Arguably it’s the best-known painting that can call Austin home. Certainly it’s the most well-traveled — and the only painting in town with its own interactive map to document its world travels.
Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” is back home at the Ransom Center and will go on view starting today through March 31, 2015.
Since 1990 the painting has been featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Spain and Italy.
The painting travels in its own custom-made case with a professional courier. And yes, the painting gets its own seat, usually in First Class.
Watch a video of how “Still Life” travels here.
The painting was most recently on view at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome. The work travels next to The New York Botanical Garden for the exhibition “Frida Kahlo’s Garden,” running from May 16 to Nov. 1, 2015.
UT acquired the painting in 1966, when the university’s Ransom Center obtained the collection Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965).
Kahlo and Muray had an affair when the two were both living in New York City in the late 1930s. It ended in 1939 the same year Kahlo divorced artist Diego Rivera. Muray purchased “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” to help her during her difficult post-divorce financial period
Muray’s collection includes than 100 works of modern Mexican art including two other Kahlo works: “Still Life with Parrot and Fruit” (1951) and the drawing “Diego y Yo” (1930).
The Ransom Center is on the corner of 21st and Guadalupe streets. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (Thursday until 7 p.m.), noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free. www.hrc.utexas.edu