Mexico City, Mexico: the Frida Kahlo Museum and the Anahuacalli Museum

The Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azaul/ The Blue House) and the Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum are essential places to visit if you visit Mexico City, Mexico. I learned so much about culture and art in Mexico from my visit! | via The Spirited Violet
The Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azaul/ The Blue House) and the Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum are essential places to visit if you visit Mexico City, Mexico. I learned so much about culture and art in Mexico from my visit! | via The Spirited Violet

I’m not really an art junkie, but I still really enjoyed visiting Frida Kahlo’s Blue House and Diego Rivera’s Anahuacalli Museum.  I feel if you are in Mexico City, both museums are essential to learning more about Mexico’s rich art and cultural heritage.  Geographically, these museums are a taxi ride away from each other (or 3.1 miles) in the city of  Coyoacan (south of Mexico City).  However, I’m putting these two museums together for this post because of Kahlo and Rivera’s bizarre relationship and marriage.

FRIDA KAHLO MUSEUM (CASA AZUL)

The Blue House was built by Frida Kahlo’s father Guillermo before she was born.  Frida Kahlo ended up being born in this home, living there through her rocky marriage, and subsequently died there (her ashes are on site).  The now museum is painted a beautiful, you guessed it, deep blue color, and the gardens and grounds are extremely interesting.  There is a beautifully painted concrete pyramid in the middle of the grounds where cats were sunning.

The museum itself is a collection of Kahlo’s mementos from life interspersed with quotes and art.  Kahlo was very interested in socialist icons, and there are portraits of Lenin and Mao around the home.  There are large tributes to pre-Hispanic arts and crafts throughout the home as well.  I love seeing historical homes, but I found this one especially interesting because of how tiny the furniture was.  Since Kahlo had severe health issues caused by an almost fatal street car accident, her wheel chair and braces are on display alongside her art.  Kahlo’s bedroom was especially interesting because so much art was arranged around her bed to make it more enjoyable for her (there was a very beautiful pinned butterfly collection above her bed).

TIPS

  • If you have children with you, Kahlo’s art contains topics like abortion and sexuality.  There are also many paintings with medical procedures and nudity.
  • For a few pesos, you are allowed to take photos in the museum.  
  • I’ve read that the lines can be very long for the museum, so it is advised to order tickets ahead.  
  • I did an audio tour for the museum and thought it was enjoyable.  
  • I definitely recommend visiting the gift shop if you’re a Kahlo fan (even though it is expensive) because there were a lot of unique gifts to buy with Kahlo’s photos and art.

DIEGO RIVERA’S MUSEUM (ANAHUACALLI MUSEUM)

The Anahuacalli Museum is probably one of the most unique museums I have ever visited- it is truly other worldly and unlike anywhere else I have ever been.  I would gladly re-visit this museum multiple times, and I’m a person that gets bored easily.

Diego Rivera built the Anahuacalli Museum to showcase his almost 50,000 pre-Hispanic pieces (with something from nearly every indigenous civilization), and the structure was finished after his passing.  The museum is dark and humid but still manages to be very cool without air conditioning because of the building materials.  The exterior walls are built from volcanic rock shaped like a pyramid, and the windows aren’t actually made from glass- they are made from alabaster.  As you walk throughout the museum, everything has an eerie glow from the odd way the alabaster lets light into the structure.

The museum is built like a pre-Hispanic pyramid.  Different rooms symbolize Mayan, Aztec and other cultures as you are led symbolically through the underworld.  The tour ends with an observation deck with amazing views of the surrounding city! 

TIPS

  • Get a guided tour!  Ours was amazing, and it was hilarious hearing him throw shade on other tours because they weren’t as good.  He actually gave us a lot of information about the Frida Kahlo museum as well.
  • The grounds are just as interesting as the museum.
  • There is a small restaurant on the grounds that makes it helpful to grab lunch.

I would love to go back to Mexico and see even more.  I found all of my experiences so rich, and I was amazed at how much pride the Mexican people had in their art and culture (there were beautiful murals everywhere!).  

Are you a big art buff?  Do you love Frida Kahlo’s art?

  • I actually learned about Frida Kahlo’s art from my daughter who was assigned a project on her in middle school. I took a look at some of the stuff she was researching and was like, ‘Really? They assigned this to an 11-year-old?’ Ha! Definitely some deep subjects there for such a young kid, but yeah, I did really like her art. Would definitely visit the museum were we to visit Mexico. (And hopefully we will some day!)

    • I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy her art, but I liked all of the history and the significance she had in Mexican culture. I’m kind of squeamish and her art was a lot for me. I can’t imagine assigning it for an 11 year old!?!?! I did enjoy Diego Rivera’s museum a lot because the collection was amazing and the museum was really so unreal!!

  • I actually learned about Frida Kahlo’s art from my daughter who was assigned a project on her in middle school. I took a look at some of the stuff she was researching and was like, ‘Really? They assigned this to an 11-year-old?’ Ha! Definitely some deep subjects there for such a young kid, but yeah, I did really like her art. Would definitely visit the museum were we to visit Mexico. (And hopefully we will some day!)

    • I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy her art, but I liked all of the history and the significance she had in Mexican culture. I’m kind of squeamish and her art was a lot for me. I can’t imagine assigning it for an 11 year old!?!?! I did enjoy Diego Rivera’s museum a lot because the collection was amazing and the museum was really so unreal!!