Frida Kahlo Fans



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This website presents only the highlights of the turbulent and painful but colorful life of Frida Kahlo. I encourage you to continue your research by reading some of the many Kahlo books listed and reviewed below.




Frida Kahlo - Das Gesamtwerks
(The Complete Works)

Author: Helga Prignitz-Poda, Salomón Grimberg and Andrea Kettenmann

Publishers: Verlag Neue Kritik 1st Edition (1988)

ISBN-10: 3801502155

ISBN-13: 978-3791343600

Language: German (Not available in other languages)

Content: 309 Pages

Size: 11.4 x 10 x 1.3 inches


(NOTE: Although the text in this book is in German I'm including it in my list of books because it is a very important and complete reference book.)

In 1988, three renowned Kahlo "Gurus", Helga Prignitz-Poda, Salomón Grimberg and Andrea Kettenmann, embarked upon an ambitious project to identify and catalog every piece of Kahlo art: paintings, drawings, sketches, watercolors and some artifacts. They published their findings in this 309 page catalogue raisonné called "Frida Kahlo - Das Gesamtwerk" (The Complete Works). The book provides the following information about each piece: an image of the piece (some color and some B/W), Title (English, Spanish and German), Size, Medium, Date, Location (as of 1988), Signed or Not Signed, and Dated or Not Dated. A brief commentary is provided for some of the pieces.

All of the text in this book is in German. However, with all of the FREE online translation software available, you can get a fairly decent translation of the data you're interested in. It's the most complete list of her works that I've ever seen and it contains works that I have never seen before. However, since its publication in 1988, other works have surfaced that are not referenced in this catalogue and the location of some works has changed.

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Standard Edition


Special Edition
A limited edition of five hundred, each signed,
numbered and enclosed in a custom-designed
photo-album slipcase


Frida Kahlo: Photographs of Myself and Others

Author: Vicente Wolf

Publishers: Pointed Leaf Press (July 16, 2010)

ISBN-10: 0982358539 (Standard Edition)

ISBN-13: 978-0982358535 (Standard Edition)

ASIN: B003ZFXWRU (Special Edition)

Language: English

Content: 138 Pages

Size: 9.1 x 11.7 x 0.7 inches


For the most part, Frida Kahlo's art is all about herself and her emotional, painful and turbulent life. Photographs however, are a reflection of her everyday life away from the canvas and paint.

Frida always had a fear of being forgotten when she was gone….that's why she painted so many self-portraits. She wanted to immortalize herself through her paintings and photographs. She encouraged anyone and everyone to photograph her and at parties she was known to hand out photos of herself to friends and even people she didn't know….often inscribed "Don't Forget Me - Frida Kahlo". She was obsessed with being remembered.

The 213 photographs presented in this book are from a rare personal collection of photographs owned by the book's author, Vicente Wolf, a world renowned interior designer, avid vintage photograph collector, Kahlo enthusiast and now author. His personal collection consists of more than 450 photos, some of which were taken by professional photographers such as: Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Tina Modotti, Julien Levy, Nickolas Muray, Lucienne Bloch, and Frida's Father Guillermo Kahlo. Besides the numerous loose photographs in the collection, there is an album that is thought to be Diego Rivera's own personal photo collection. A facsimile of this rare album is shown in this book.

The book begins with a forward by the author in which he describes how he acquired the collection. The next 121 pages are a photographic diary of the personal life of Frida Kahlo, her womanizing husband Diego Rivera and their friends and acquaintances. In these never before published images Frida exposes her very vulnerable side; lying in bed bandaged up after surgery, sitting in a wheelchair and photos of herself among those of Diego's "other lovers". In the back of the book is a two page chronology that highlights events in Kahlo's life.

The binding of this hardcover book is exquisite. It is printed on heavy non-glare paper and beautifully bound as though it were a photo album. This book presents a fresh and captivating look at the iconic artist, her exuberant husband, and their coterie of famous friends. This book is different because many of the photos are captioned with text personally selected or written by the author. If "a picture is worth a thousand words" then this book says it all… won't be disappointed.

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Frida Kahlo - Face to Face

Author: Judy Chicago with Frances Borzello

Publishers: Prestel USA (September 1, 2010)

ISBN-10: 3791343602

ISBN-13: 978-3791343600

Language: English

Content: 252 Pages with several color images of her paintings

Size: 13" x 12" x 1¼"


The author of this book is Judy Chicago, a prominent feminist artist who has for decades worked tirelessly to ensure that women's artistic achievements become a permanent part of our cultural heritage. She is in the forefront of assuring that women artists are equally recognized with male artists. Her co-author, Frances Borzello, is a London-based art historian who has written extensively on cultural and gender issues and is a specialist in women artists' self-portraiture. Together they handpicked 90 of Kahlo's works that speak to the full spectrum of women's experiences. The text in this book is a "dialogue" between the two artistic icons in which they discuss their interpretation of the selected works.

The book begins with a 5 page "Introduction" written by Chicago. In this essay Chicago explains how she became involved in the writing of this book and that one of their goals for this book was "…to consider Kahlo's art without constantly referring to her biography as a way of explaining the imagery". I find this goal very difficult if not impossible….Kahlo painted a diary of her life….her work is her biography on canvas. The focus of this "essay", and the rest of the book, is mostly Chicago's feminist views and the inequality of women artist throughout history and into the present.

I have to say that I was disappointed in this book. I put this book aside several times but in the interest of a fair review I forced myself to finish it. There were times when the content was so focused on the feminist movement that I lost sight of the fact the book was about Kahlo. This book should have been titled: "The History of the Feminist Movement in Art". I have researched Kahlo's life and work for the past 7 years and read more than 30 Kahlo books. If this book was the first book that I read on Kahlo I probably wouldn't have continued my research. This book just didn't tell me enough about Kahlo to keep my interest. If you didn't already know who Kahlo was before you read this book you still wouldn't know when you finished reading it. I know this book was not intended to be a biography but it was just too focused on "Feminism" for me. The most impressive features about this book are it's size, the beautiful binding and the plates. The full page plates in this book are "HD" quality and some of the best I have ever seen.

Bottom line….I was not impressed by this book. I wouldn't recommend it.

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Frida Kahlo

Author: Claudia Bauer

Publishers: Prestel (April 30, 2007)

ISBN-13: 978-3791337807 (Paperback)

Language: English

Content: 127 Pages with several color images of her paintings

Size: 9 ¼" x 7 ¾" x 5/8"


This book is divided into 7 chapters and begins with a brief history of art in Mexico. It then presents a high level "Summary" biography of the colorful world of Frida Kahlo. A woman passionate about art, love and politics, she lived a life characterized by personal tragedy and unshakable optimism, by great intense love and bitter disappointment. A life whose turbulent twists and turns are dramatically documented in her unique and highly personal paintings.

This biography is not exactly chronological and is somewhat repetitive in that the "Summary" is presented first and then some major events in her life are detailed in the back of the book…and not necessarily in chronological order.

There are several color images of her paintings throughout the book with a brief discussion of some of them. If you're looking for an in-depth discussion of her paintings you won't find it here.

This is a great "Introduction to Frida Kahlo" book. Not only because of its content but because it's readily available on for cheap…..I paid only 7 cents for my "new" copy. If you're not familiar with Frida Kahlo then this is a great "overview" book for you. If you've already read other Kahlo books and are somewhat familiar with her life and works then this book probably isn't for you.

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What the Water Gave Me:
Poems after Frida Kahlo

Author: Pascale Petit

Publishers: UK Edition: Seren Books, Bridgend (Paperback, 2010)
US Edition: Black Lawrence Press (Paperback, 2011)

ISBN-10: 1854115154 (UK edition)

ISBN-13: 978-1854115157 (UK edition)

Language: English

Content: 64 Pages

Size: 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 1/4"


What the Water Gave Me contains fifty-two poems in the voice of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Named after Kahlo's works, the poems examine a range of topics, including Kahlo's childhood polio, near-fatal bus accident, tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera, miscarriages, and adventures in Mexico City, Detroit and New York City. Some of the poems are close interpretations of Kahlo's work, while others are parallels or version homages where acclaimed UK poet Pascale Petit draws on her experience as a visual artist to create alternative 'paintings' with words. More than just a verse biography, this collection explores how Kahlo transformed trauma into art after the artist's bus crash. Petit, with her vivid style, her feel for nature and her understanding of pain and redemption, fully inhabits Kahlo's world. Each poem is an evocation of "how art works on the pain spectrum", laced with splashes of ferocious colour. Transformative and cathartic, this remarkable compilation mirrors Kahlo's own intense involvement with her paintings and celebrates her accomplishments.

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Frida Kahlo: Her Photos

Author(s): James Oles, Horacio Fernandez, and Frida Kahlo

Editor: Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

Publisher: RM; 1st Edition (April 30, 2010)

ISBN-10: 8492480750

ISBN-13: 978-8492480753

Language: English

Content: 522 Pages with more than 500 vintage photos

Size: 9 3/8" x 6 3/4" x 1 1/2"


One year after Frida Kahlo died in 1954, her husband, the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, gave the Kahlo/Rivera residence (Casa Azul) to the Mexican government to become a museum. The poet Carlos Pellicer was asked to select items in the house to be displayed as part of the museum's permanent collection. The remainder of the items were locked up in a bathroom that was converted into a storage room. The treasure trove remained there for more than half a century until it was opened up in 2004 to reveal the hidden archive. Among the items in the Kahlo/Rivera home and archive were more than 6,000 photographs. This book contains images of more than 500 "never before seen or published" photos taken by a multitude of professional, famous and amateur photographers….including Kahlo herself. These photos are a testimony to their origins and the everyday life of the famous couple, not only through the images themselves but also through the telling annotations inscribed upon them.

The book begins with a "Presentation" written by Carlos Phillips Olmedo, Director of the Frida Kahlo Museum. Following the "Presentation" is an "Introduction" written by the book's editor; Pablo Ortiz Monasterio. The remainder of the book is divided into seven different sections into which the photographic works have been divided: "The Origins", "Father", "The Casa Azul", "Broken Body", "Love", "Photography", and "Political Struggle". Each section is prefaced by an essay written by various "experts" from around the world who present their views of the photos featured in their section of the book.

Of the 500+ photographs in this book I think I've only seen 3 - 4 of them before….and I've seen MUCHO Kahlo photos. In "The Origins" section there are several interesting photos of Kahlo's parents and grandparents that were taken in the late 1890s.

I know….I know….there are several "Kahlo Photos" books already out there….so why this one…? Because the photos in this book you haven't seen in the other books. Just remember there were more than 6,000 photos found in the archive and there are only 500+ shown in this book. What are the chances there will be even more "Kahlo Photos" books to come…..

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Finding Frida Kahlo

Author: Barbara Levine with Stephen Jaycox

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press, New York

ISBN-13: 978-1568988306 (1st Edition - 2009, Hardcover)

Language: English & Spanish

Content: 256 Pages with many color photographs of the collection

Size: 8¾" x 11¼" x 1"


This book documents the recent discovery and unveiling of an eclectic archive of items that the owners claim belonged to the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

The collection is currently owned by Carlos and Leticia Noyola; antique dealers in the small town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They acquired the collection in 2004 from a lawyer in Mexico City who, in 1979, purchased it from a wood carver who was given the collection in payment for work that he had done for Frida and Diego Rivera. The collection was contained in 5 cases: a suitcase, a box, a large wooden chest, a painted chest and a metal trunk. Among the 1,200+ items discovered were paintings, drawings, sketches, letters, a diary, keepsakes and other personal affects.

The authenticity of this collection is the subject of several articles that suggest the collection is a complete "Fake" while other articles say that at least some of the items are authentic. The current owners state that they have had more than 1,000 of the pieces authenticated. But, the hard-line Kahlo enthusiasts are still skeptical. Some who proclaim the collection a "FAKE" have not even seen the actual collection.

The first section of this book is an essay entitled "Encountering Frida Kahlo" by the author, Barbara Levine. In the essay she describes how she became involved in the "Finding Frida Kahlo" book project.

Following the essay is a documented account of an interview with the current collection owners: Carlos and Leticia Noyola. In the interview they discuss how they discovered the archive and how, and why, they came to acquire it.

The last section is a discussion, with photographs, of some of the items found in each of the 5 cases.

There are many color photographs of the items in this book that help you to understand what was actually found. This book is a "must have" for Kahlo enthusiast and fanatics. The book is worth buying just for the photographs of the collection. After you read the book and examine the photos of the collection you can decide for yourself if the collection is authentic or fake. Email me (Mike) and let me know what you think or post your comments in the guestbook . Guestbook

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Frida Kahlo - Song of Herself

Author: Salomon Grimberg, Forward by Hayden Herrera

Publisher: Merrell (London, New York)

ISBN-10: 9781858944388 (1st Edition - 2008, Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 1858944376 (1st Edition - 2008, Hardcover)

Content: 159 Pages with Vintage Photographs and Images of her Paintings and Drawings

Size: 8¾" x 6¾" x 7/8"


Frida Kahlo's extraordinary life has been well documented, but until now little has been known about the artist's personal thoughts on her internal and external reality. In this book, Kahlo expert Salomon Grimberg introduces and contextualizes an intimate, deeply introspective interview that Kahlo gave towards the end of her life to her friend the psychologist Olga Campos. Kahlo comments candidly as never before on her life, her loves and her art, and expresses her attitudes towards sexuality, her body, friendship, politics and death, among other personal concerns. The most revealing autobiographical text known on this singular woman, this startling interview is accompanied here by Campos's reflections on her relationship with Kahlo and a psychological assessment of Kahlo by Dr James Bridger Harris.

The book is illustrated with selected vintage photographs and works by Kahlo, including previously unseen and rarely seen drawings. This book is NOT a Kahlo biography nor a discussion of her works.

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Frida Kahlo - The Still Lifes

Author: Salomon Grimberg, Forward by Hayden Herrera

Publisher: Merrell (London, New York)

ISBN-10: 1858944376

ISBN-13: 978-1858944371

Content: 175 Pages, B/W & color photos, 45 color illustrations of her paintings

Size: 10¼" x 9" x ¾" Hardcover


I anxiously awaited for the publication of this book because it's focus is on the Still Life paintings. Up until now, not much has been said about the Still Lifes because in general, they are more difficult to read and interpret and quite often the real meaning was known only to Kahlo herself. I was curious about this book because it consists of 175 pages and I wasn't sure what could be said about the some 40 Still Lifes that would take that many pages.

I consider a "Still Life" to be a painting or drawing of a bowl of fruit, vase of flowers, food, etc. For the purpose of this book, the author, Grimberg, expands the meaning of "Still Life" to include just about everything Kahlo did. Although the main focus is the traditional Still Life, some 30 of them pictured and discussed in this book, there are also Kahlo portraits, self-portraits and some of her other surreal works, drawings and sketches.

The book begins with a VERY brief forward by the Kahlo "Guru", Hayden Herrera. The text in this book is not limited to just a discussion of Kahlo's Still Life paintings. It begins with a history of Still Life paintings dating back to the Middle ages. Throughout the book it also discusses and displays works by Kahlo's famous husband Diego Rivera. It also includes a lot of in-depth biographical material…some of which is related to the discussion of the paintings and some new information I have not read before.

There are 45 full color images of Kahlo's works…30 of which are the traditional Still Lifes. The quality of these images is some of the best that I've ever seen. It also contains several black/white photos and a few in color…some of which I have not seen before.

This book truly is the first book by anyone to give an in-depth discussion of Kahlo's Still Life paintings. That's what makes it different from all the other Kahlo books and what makes it worth adding to your collection of Kahlo books. You won't be disappointed by this one.

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The Diary of Frida Kahlo

Author: Frida Kahlo with Introductions by Carlos Fuentes
Essay and Commentary on the images by Sarah M. Lowe.
(Translated by: Barbara Crow De Toledo and Ricardo Pohlenz)

Publisher: Abradale Press

0810981955 (2nd Edition - 1998, Hardcover)
0810932210 (1st Edition - 1995 - Hardcover)
0747540977 (1st Edition - 1995 - Paperback

Content: 295 Pages, 338 llustrations, 167 Plates in full color

Size: 6 ½" x 9 ½"


This book contains a facsimile edition of the personal diary of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), followed by replicas of each page with explanatory commentary and English translations. The diary, which was hidden from public view in Mexico for several decades, covers the last 10 years of the artist's life, when she was in the midst of extensive emotional and physical difficulties. Among other topics, she writes about her childhood, her political opinions, and her relationship with her husband, the painter and womanizer Diego Rivera. With its colorful text and sketches, and more elaborate illustrations and portraits, the diary is an art object in its own right. If you are intrigued by Kahlo's drawings and sketches, then this book is for you….it's full of them….including some of her best "surrealistic" work. Some of the entries in this diary are so cryptic they defy explanation...only Frida knew their true meaning.

This book is also available in French and Spanish.

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Frida Kahlo - The Paintings

Author: Hayden Herrera

Publishers: Harper-Collins Publishers (1991),
Harper-Perennial (1993), Perennial (2002)

0060923199 (Perennial 2002 Reprint Edition, Paperback)
0060166991 (Harpercollins 1st Edition, 1991, Hardcover)
0060923199 (Harper-Perennial Reprint, 1993, Paperback)

Content: 257 Pages, 286 Illustrations, 87 of which are in color, Complete Biography.

Size: 10 ½" x 14 ½"


In small, stunningly rendered self-portraits, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo painted herself cracked open, hemorrhaging during a miscarriage, anesthetized on a hospital gurney, and weeping beside her own extracted heart. Her works are so incendiary in emotion and subject matter that one art critic suggested the walls of an exhibition be covered with asbestos.

In this beautiful book, art historian Hayden Herrera brings together numerous paintings and sketches by the amazing Mexican artist, documenting each with explanatory text that probes the influences in Kahlo's life and their meaning for her work. Included among the illustrations are more than eighty full-color paintings and dozens of black-and-white photos. If you're looking for an in-depth discussion of her life and her paintings then this is the book for you.

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Frida Kahlo

Author: Frank Milner.

Publisher: PRC Publishing, Ltd, London

ISBN: 1856486761 (Hardcover 2001)

Content: 112 Pages; 80 Color Illustrations of her paintings; Vintage B&W Photos; Biography

Size: 10 ½" x 14 ½"


This book about Frida Kahlo contains 75 large-scale full-color plates of some of her most famous works. Some of the painting reproductions, at least in my book, are not of the best quality. Many of the color plates cover two pages across the face of the open book. Pages 6-23 introduce the artist with an interesting biography and vintage black & white photographs. Pages 24 - 111 are the plates, divided into 3 sections:

1) Self Portraits (This section contains 16 portraits, 23 self portraits and 6 other paintings)

2) Still Life (This section contains 12 of her most noted Still Life paintings)

3) Marginality and Modernism (This section contains 17 paintings and includes some of her "Surreal" works)

Each section begins with an essay, written by the author, about that particular group of Kahlo's paintings. Each painting is also identified by: title, medium, date painted, size and location at the time of publishing.

The author of this book, Frank Milner, has published many monograph's on artists, and he calls Kahlo "Brilliant and Charismatic".

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Frida Kahlo

Author: Salomon Grimberg

Publisher: World Publications Group, Inc

ISBN: 1-57215-323-7 (Hardcover 2003)

Content: 128 Pages; Color illustrations of her paintings; Vintage
B&W photos; Biography

Size: 9½" x 13" (25 x 33 cm)


The first 38 pages of this oversized book are devoted to a biography of Frida Kahlo's life and a discussion of some of her most famous paintings. Several vintage color and black & white photos are also included in this section. The remaining pages of this book are the plates...large full page images of her paintings reporduced in full color and detail...some of the best quality reproductions I've seen. Each painting is titled and dated, the medium used and the whereabouts of the original piece.

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Kahlo 1907-1954 Pain and Passion

Author: Andrea Kettenmann

Publisher: Taschen

3822859834 (Paperback 2002)
9707180935 (Hardcover 2003)
3822806803 (Paperback, 1992, Spanish)

Content: 96 Pages; 70 Illustrations of her painting; Vintage B&W
Photos; Biography

Size: 7 ½" x 9"


This book is "Frida Kahlo 101" in a Reader's Digest format. Highly recommended for new "Frida Fans" or current "Frida Fans" who want "just the facts." Contains brief but concise biographical information, vintage black & white photos, color plates of her paintings and commentaries on her paintings. Great quick reference book. If you're only going to buy one "Frida" book…make it this one. However, after reading this one you'll be so intrigued by Frida's life and her art that you'll want other books too. This book is my personal favorite.

This book is also available in Spanish & German.

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2002 Edition

1983/1991 Edition









FRIDA - A Biography of Frida Kahlo

Author: Hayden Herrera

Harper & Row (1983)
Perennial Library (1984)
Perennial Harper/Collins (1991)
Perennial (2002)

0060085894 (Paperback , 2002)
0060118431 (Hardcover, 1983)
0060911271 (Paperback, 1991)
9681316843 (Paperback, 1998, Spanish Language)
1575111187 (Audio Cassette, 2002)

Content: 528 Pages (2002 Edition), 507 Pages (1983 Edition)

Size: 6" x 9"


In this book, art historian and authority on Frida Kahlo, Hayden Herrera vividly portrays a woman of strength, talent, humor, and endurance. Combining biographical research, Frida's own letters, and analyses of Frida's paintings, Herrera illuminates and amplifies Frida Kahlo's life story, her importance as an artist, and her ultimate triumph over tragedy. This book was the basis for the recent Academy Award winning film "FRIDA" by Miramax studios, starring Salma Hayek who graces the cover of the new edition.

Hailed by readers and critics across the country, this engrossing biography of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo reveals a woman of extreme magnetism and originality. An artist whose sensual vibrancy came straight from her own experiences: her childhood near Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution; a devastating accident at age eighteen that left her crippled and unable to bear children; her tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera and intermittent love affairs with men as diverse as Isamu Noguchi and Leon Trotsky; her association with the Communist Party; her absorption in Mexican folklore and culture; and her dramatic love of spectacle. Here is the tumultuous life of an extraordinary twentieth-century woman…with illustrations as rich and haunting as her legend.

This is the most complete and detailed biography you'll ever find on Kahlo. My only complaint about this book is that the image on the cover of the 2002 edition is not Frida Kahlo…it's the actress Salma Hayek who portrayed Frida Kahlo in the 2003 Miramax film "Frida". Although this book does provide commentary on some of Kahlo's paintings, it is not the in-depth analysis that you will find in the book "Frida Kahlo - The Paintings" by the same author.

This book is also available in Spanish: "Una Biografía de Frida Kahlo", and on audio cassette/CD in English.

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I Will Never Forget You... Frida Kahlo to Nickolas Muray

Author: Salomon Grimberg

Schirmer/Mosel (Munich), 2004, Hard Cover
Chronicle Books, 2006, Paperback

ISBN 10:
Hard Cover Edition: 3829601212
Paperback Edition: 0811856925

Hard Cover Edition: 117 Pages, 179 Color and B/W Illustrations
44 full page photographs - color and B/W
Paperback Edition: 180 Pages

Hard Cover Edition: 12 5/8" x 9 1/4"
Paperback Edition: 12 1/8" x 9"


This book, authored by the "Kahlo Guru" Salomon Grimberg, is not just another Kahlo biography nor is it just another book of Kahlo photos. This book tells of a love story between the photographer Nickolas Muray and the painter Frida Kahlo. Written in somewhat of a biographical format, it begins with Muray's life "before Kahlo" followed by Kahlo's life "before Muray"… and then they meet. When these two icons collide, the love story begins. This book captures the most intimate moments of that secret relationship as told through their love letters and the many photographs taken by Muray. 56 of those photos, some never before published, are shown in this book in full color and duotone plates.

This book begins with a one page acknowledgement written by Grimberg. In the back of the book there is a 3 page chronology of Nickolas. Following that is an index of 88 known photos of Frida taken by Muray, complete with a thumbnail photo and identifying information.

When you've read of all the mundane biographies and want to read something more personal about Frida, then this book is for you. Although it's a love story, it's just another tragic chapter in Kahlo's anything but ordinary life.





Kahlo (Mega Squares Series)

Author: Gerry Souter

Publishers: Grange Books, 2006 or New Line Books

ISBN 10: 1840139242 (Paperback , 2006)
ISBN 13: 978-1840139242 (Paperback , 2006)

Content: 256 Pages, 120 Full Page Color Illustrations

Size: 5 ¾" x 6 ½"


If you are just getting to know Frida Kahlo, then this book is for you….this is "Introduction to Frida Kahlo - 101". It presents an abbreviated, but concise, biography of the artist's life. You can probably read the entire book in about an hour or so. While this book is short on words it is NOT short on content. I have read at least 10 other Kahlo biographies by various authors and thought I had read it all. Not so…this book presents information, dates, details and scenarios that I have not read in other biographies. The book is very well written and organized chronologically.

This book contains 120 full page color illustrations of Frida's art. Some are paintings, some are drawings and some are sketches from the pages of her personal diary. If you are looking for a discussion of her art you won't find it here. This book is strictly biographical. It does, however, provide the title, year, medium and current location for each painting/drawing illustrated.

I highly recommend this book for new "Kahlo Fans" or for those who are just curious about this icon painter from Mexico. It is one of the best, if not the best, book for beginners. If you haven't seen the 2003 Miramax documentary film "Frida" staring Salma Hayek as Frida, I highly recommend watching that movie….but read this book first and the movie will be much more meaningful and easier to follow. You won't be disappointed by either.

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Frida's Fiestas : Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo

Author: Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle

Publisher: Random House, Inc.

0-51759-2355 (Hardcover, 1994, English)
0-51770-0441 (Hardcover, 1994, Spanish)

Content: 224 Pages with Recipes and Full-Color Photographs

Size: 8" x 10"


"Frida's Fiestas" is a personal account in words and pictures of many important and happy events in the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. This book contains a scrapbook assembled by her stepdaughter, Guadalupe Rivera. In this book she shares recipes for more than 100 dishes that Frida served to family and friends with her characteristic enthusiasm for all the pleasures of life. This food-accented memoir is arranged around 12 occasions for celebration, including Frida and Diego's wedding anniversary and the "Day of the Dead".

Also available in Spanish: "Las Fiestas de Frida Y Diego : Recuerdos Y Receta" (ISBN: 0-51770-0441).

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The Letters of Frida Kahlo:
Cartas Apasionadas

Publisher: Chronicle Books, San Francisco

ISBN: 0811811247 (Hardcover 1995)

Content: 160 Pages, Compiled by Martha Zamora, Translated from
Spanish to English by Jorge Gonzalez Casanove and Daniela Garaiz.

Size: 6 ¾" x 7 ½"


This book contains a collection of more than eighty important letters and other documents written by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to friends, fans, family, politicians and lovers. These letters, written between 1924 and 1948, presents another kind of self-portrait revealing Kahlo's inter most personal feelings about her art, politics, tragedies and events in her life. This book also includes poems by Kahlo, her lecture analyzing her award winning painting "Moses" and an essay about her husband, the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. The book begins with a 3 page chronology. There are only a few illustrations of sketches in this book and only one photograph of Kahlo. There are no illustrations or discussion of her paintings. The letters have been reproduced in their original format as much as possible, to include her own "Spanglish" language, other foreign words and the profanities which she often used. This book is recommended reading if you want to get to know and feel the emotions of the real Frida Kahlo.

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Frida by Frida

Author: Raquel Tibol

Publisher: Editorial RM, Mexico (August 2003)

ISBN: 9685208166 (Hardcover, 2003 Edition)

Content: 359 Pages

Language: English (Translated by Gregory Dechant)

Size: 5 ¾" x 8½"


In this book, noted art critic and personal friend of Frida Kahlo, gathers letters, notes, poems, protests, confessions, messages and other documents written by Frida to her friends, lovers and others. These writings give us a first hand insight into the artist's personal and private life.

I recommend reading this book AFTER you have become familiar with Frida Kahlo's life. Read some of her biographies first and then the letters and other documents in this book will have more meaning.

If you're looking for a book that has images of Kahlo's painting or a discussion of her works this is NOT the book. This book has NO images of her paintings but it does have about a dozen black & white photos…all of which you've probably already seen in other Kahlo books.

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Frida Kahlo - A Modern Master

Author: Terri Hardin

Publisher: New Line Books Limited

ISBN: 1597640891 (Hardcover, 2006)

Content: 128 Pages, 101 Color & B/W Illustrations

Size: 9" x 12½"


This book is what I would call the "Reader's Digest" version of a Kahlo biography. It is a great introduction to the life and art of Frida Kahlo. Terri Hardin has written this book very simply and to the point with a nice balance of bio, art and photos. The color reproductions of Kahlo's paintings and drawings are very sharp and of high quality…probably some of the best I've seen in any Kahlo book.

Although this book is mostly biographical, there is some discussion of her paintings. Also included in this book is a selection of black & white photos and a few of her drawings.

Highly recommend this book to those just getting to know Frida Kahlo or those already familiar with Kahlo but want something extra.

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Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Author: Isabel Alcántara and Sandra Egnolff

Publisher: Prestel Publishing (Pegasus Library)

ISBN: 3791332759 ("Flexi" Paperback, 2004)

Content: 120 Pages, with Color & B/W Illustrations

Size: 7½" x 9¾"


This book is a very good introduction to the tragic love story of Frida Kahlo and her husband, the famous Mexican muralist and womanizer Diego Rivera. It presents an insight into their stormy relationship and how it affected her personal life and her art. If you are just getting acquainted with Frida Kahlo this is a great "Frida Kahlo 101" book. It's very well written and easy reading. There are several color illustrations of works by both artists as well as several black & white photos. Although several illustrations of their works are included, there is very little discussion of the works….this book is, for the most part, biographical. And, yes, as another reviewer on pointed out, there are a few typos in the text, and some of the sentence structure is a bit "unusual" and there are a couple of facts that aren't quite right…but just overlook that and you'll find this book very interesting and informative.

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Frida Kahlo - The Camera Seduced

Author: Elena Poniatowska with essay by Carla Stellweg

Publisher: Chronicle Books, San Francisco

ISBN: 0811802159 (Paperback, 1992)

Content: 128 Pages, with 60 Black &White Photos

Size: 9½" x 11½"


This book contains 60 B&W photographs of the legendary Frida Kahlo taken by some of the most famous photographers of the time: Ansel Adams, Lucienne Bloch, Lola & Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Imogen Cummingham, Frida's father Guillermo Kahlo, Nickolas Muray and others. The photos range from early childhood to her last days. A few of the photos I had not seen before but most of the photos in this book can be found in other more recent books on Kahlo. Although many beautiful color photographs of Frida were taken beginning in the late 1930s, none of them appear in this book....everything is in B&W.

In the beginning pages of the book, Elena Poniatowska writes Frida's memoirs as though she were Frida. At the end of the book, Carla Stellweg writes an essay covering the high points of Kahlo's life and her turbulent marriage to the famous Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera. In the back of the book there is a detailed chronology as well as a description of each photograph. The focus of this book is on the photographs. Although there are a few B/W photos of Kahlo's paintings, not much is mentioned about her art.

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Lola Alvarez Bravo - The Frida Kahlo Photographs

Author: Salomon Grimberg/Lola Alvarez Bravo

Publisher: Society of Friends of Mexican Culture, Dallas, Texas (March 1992)

ISBN 10: 0963100904 (Paperback)
ISBN 13: 978-0963100900 (Paperback)

Content: 117 Pages, 50 B&W Photographs

Size: 8½" x 9½"


This book (catalog) was published to accompany the "Lola Alvarez Bravo Traveling Exhibition". The curator for the exhibition was Salomon Grimberg, a well known Kahlo "Guru" and author of several Kahlo books. The exhibition was held at three venues:

1) Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, Texas (Sept - Oct 1991)
2) The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (Nov 1991 - Mar 1992)
3) The Albuquerque Museum of Art, History and Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Apr - Jun 1992).

Lola Alvarez Bravo was Mexico's foremost woman photographer and a personal friend of Frida Kahlo. Lola photographed Kahlo many time during the 1940s and 1950s. This book contains 50 black and white photos taken by Bravo…some not before seen in other books. Most of the photos in this book are of Frida but it also includes photos of some of her paintings and photos of "The Blue House" where Kahlo was born, lived and died.

The 4 page "Introduction" portion of this book is written by Salomon Grimberg. In it he describes his association with Bravo and also provides commentary on some of Kahlo's more famous works. Following the introduction is a 5 page interview with Lola Alvarez Bravo. In this interview she tells of her fascination with photographing Kahlo and their enduring friendship to the very end. One of Bravo's most haunting photos in this book is of the deceased Kahlo on her death bed.






Frida - Portraits of an Icon

Author: Margaret Hooks

Publisher: Turner Publications and Throckmorton Fine Art, 2002

ISBN: 8-47506-564-3 (Hardcover)

Content: 149 Pages of Text and 59 Photographs

Size: 9 ½" x 12 ½"


This book is entirely dedicated to photographic portraits of Frida Kahlo, NOT paintings by Kahlo. Sometimes sepia-toned and sometimes in grays, these photographs chronicle the turbulent life, events and death of Mexico's most famous woman painter. The photos begin with her early childhood days and end with Frida on her deathbed. These photos were taken by the most notable photographers of the time: Imogen Cummingham, Edward Weston, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, one of Frida's loves Nickolas Muray, and Frida's father Guillermo Kahlo. In this book, the author includes an essay that describes how Kahlo's debilitating physical pain may have concealed her vivacious personality in some of the photos.

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Author: Luis-Martin Lozano (Editor)

Publisher: Bulfinch Press (October 2001)

ISBN: 0821227661 (Hardcover)

Content: 260 Pages; 220 Color and Black & White Illustrations

Size: 12" x 13"


This lush oversize volume is a complete survey of Frida Kahlo's work. With more than 200 reproductions of Kahlo's paintings, and extensive essays on her art as well as her life, "Frida" is the definitive book on this celebrated Mexican artist. This is a quality book, from the paper and binding to the superior reproductions of Kahlo's paintings.

This unique book presents a full range of Kahlo's work, including a number of rarely seen paintings from private collections. Throughout, photographs of Kahlo's life -- from childhood photos to portraits of the ailing but still vibrant artist taken near the end of her life -- help us to understand the magnificent personality that created these masterful artworks. The paintings, including her most seminal works, are shown in stunningly lavish reproduction; nine gatefolds allow the reader to examine in detail aspects of her larger pieces. Essays by three esteemed art historians and Diego Rivera illuminate her work for readers.

This is one of the more expensive "Kahlo" books, about $85 new, but well worth the money for all of the illustrations. Includes several "close-up" illustrations of sections of paintings to reveal every detail right down to the brush strokes. You won't be disappointed by this book. New and good condition used versions of this book are available on and sometimes for a reasonable price. This book is BIG and heavy so expect to pay extra shipping charges.

The contents of this book are very similar to another book, "Frida Kahlo", of equal size by Helga Prignitz-Poda. It is also expensive at a suggested retail price of $125. One or the other of these books will don't need both...unless you're a serious "Frida Fan" like I am.....

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Frida Kahlo: The Brush of Anguish

Author: Martha Zamora (Translated by Marilyn Sode Smith)

Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1990

0-81180-485-2 (Paperback)
0-87701-746-8 (Hardcover)

Content: 144 Pages, 75 Color Plates of her works plus several Black & White Photos

Size: 9" x 12"


Nearly 40 years after her death, Kahlo is one of the most recognized and recognizable artists of her time. The themes of her life--poor health, pain, abortions, loneliness, depression--are also the themes of her art. The complexities of Kahlo's painful, joyful, and notorious life are well presented in this book. Despite the obvious affection for the subject, Zamora neither glosses over Kahlo's nonconformity nor tries to make a martyr of her. The book contains a collection of 75 color plates of the artist's original works. These 75 masterfully reproduced paintings, several equally remarkable duotone photographs, and descriptive text by Zamora, tell the story of Kahlo's intense and tragic life. Of particular interest because they comprise largely seldom-seen works in various Mexican collections, these plates represent the best collection now available of Kahlo's work.

The text is easy to follow and gives a whirlwind tour of Frida's life, complete with recollections by friends and other anecdotes. Included is a chronology, list of illustrations and a selected bibliography.

This book, in comparison, is the "Reader's Digest" version of the original Spanish version: "Frida: El Pincel de la Angustia". The original book has nearly four times as many pages….more photographs, paintings and text.

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2000 Paperback Edition


1993 Hardcover Edition


Frida Kahlo - An Open Life

Author: Raquel Tibol (Translated by Elinor Randall)

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

082631418X (Hardcover - April 1993)
0826321887 (Paperback - January 2000)

230 Pages (Hardcover)
240 Pages (Paperback)

6" x 8" (Hardcover)
5 ½" x 8" (Paperback)


Over the years there have been numerous books written about Frida Kahlo. This one is unique in that it is written by someone who actually knew Kahlo and lived with her in the last year of her life… the renowned Mexican art critic and historian Raquel Tibol. This book presents facts gathered from medical records, letters, Kahlo's personal diary, personal interviews and Tibol's own personal recollections of her time with Kahlo. One plus for this book is that it is written in plain simple English…no need to keep the dictionary handy like for other Kahlo books I've read. Although the book has some interesting points, I was hoping for more. I felt there was too much information not really relevant to Kahlo….discussions of other artists, a history of art and a history of Mexico. The book is not written in chronological order and, without warning, drifts from one subject to another and then back again. I had hoped for more pages of personal interviews with Kahlo but there are few. Important periods in Kahlo's life are left out, i.e., the time she spent in the United States. Nonetheless, it's worth reading to get Tibol's point of view.

This book was first published in Spanish in 1983 and then translated into English by Elinor Randall in 1993 and published in a hard cover edition. A paperback English edition was later published in 2000.

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Frida Kahlo: The Painter and Her Work

Author: Helga Prignitz-Poda

Publisher: Schirmer/Mosel and Distributed Art Publishers, Inc Slipcase edition (October 15, 2004)

ISBN: 1891024957 (Hard Cover Slipcase Edition)

Content: 261 Pages, 121 Color Plates, 54 Illustrations

Size: 12¼" x 11¼" x 1¼"


The first 70 pages of text in this oversized book are divided into 5 sections:

1. Childhood 1907 - 1925
2. After the Accident
3. Frida and Diego's Marriage
4. Crazy Love 1941 - 1946
5. After 1946

Each section contains a biography, chronology and photos of that period of her life. The remainder of the book contains the plates…42 of her masterpiece paintings reproduced in full color and detail. Sections of the paintings are enlarged to reveal the intricate detail, the brush strokes and even the texture of the canvas. A descriptive analysis of each painting is included to provide an insight into its meaning and her inspiration to create the piece.

I find that some of the painting commentaries in this book are contrary to those I have read in other books. The author of this book sees the paintings from a slightly different perspective which makes this book interesting reading.

This edition is presented in a beautiful stamped-linen, casebound box. The suggested retail price for this book is $125.00 but you can find it on or for a lot less. This is a VERY heavy book so expect to pay extra for shipping.

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Kahlo: The Blue House:
The World of Frida Kahlo

Author: Edited by Erika Billeter

Publisher: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas (1993)

ISBN: 0295973285 (Soft Cover)

Content: 279 Pages, 150 Plates (most in color)

Size: 9.2 x 11.2 x 1.0 inches (Weight: 3 1/2 lbs)


This book is in English but was originally published in German as a catalog for a 1993 exhibition displaying the contents of the famous "Blue House" where Frida was born, lived and died. This book contains several essays, a biography and chronology, large color plates of her paintings and photographs of Frida and her famous husband the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. The focus of this book is the Blue House and this book contains extraordinary not seen before photos of the "Casa Azul", both interior and exterior. Since photographs of the interior of the Blue House are forbidden when visiting the residence, this book offers an insight into how the couple lived.

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1995 Edition

1991 Edition



Frida Kahlo

Author: Malka Drucker

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM, Paperbound Edition (October 1995)

Bantam Books, paperback (1991)

ISBN: 0826316425 (1995), 0533354086 (1991)

Content: 159 Pages, 8 B/W photos, 6 color illustrations of her paintings, a brief chronology

Size: 5 ½ x 8 ¼ inches (Weight: 7.84 ounces)


Tired of reading all the Kahlo biographies full of facts in a "documentary style" format..? Then this book is for you. This Kahlo biography, with a splash of Mexican history, presents an in-depth look at the private life of this famous Mexican painter in the style of a novel. This book is written for young adult readers and is very well written, well organized, easy reading and full of tidbits of information not found in other books. Once you start to read it you can't put it down. When you're finished you will know and understand the real Frida Kahlo. Highly recommend this book to "Frida Fans" of all ages.

If you are looking for an in-depth discussion of her paintings you won't find it here. Not much is said about her paintings and there are only 6 small color and 3 black & white illustrations of her paintings and 6 black & white photos. In the back of the book there is a very brief chronology.

Although this book is old, both editions are still available on The 1991 edition is available "used" and cheaper...less than $3.





30 Frida Kahlo Postcards

Publisher: Taschen

ISBN: 3-8228-9765-5

Content: 30 Postcards of Frida Kahlo Paintings

Size: 4 ½" x 6 ¼"


This book contains postcards depicting 30 of Frida Kahlo's famous paintings. All are in full color with painting titles printed on the back in English, German and French. Cards are suitable for mailing or framing. This book also contains a brief one page biography in English, German and French. A great gift for a "Frida Fan".

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Frida Kahlo - Postcards

Publisher: Chronicle Books (1991)

ISBN: 0-8118-0039-3

Content: 22 Postcards

Size: 4 ½" x 6 ¼"


This book contains 22 postcards featuring 17 full-color popular works of art as well as 5 photographs of the artist herself. The compilation of images consists of self-portraits, still life, surreal scenes and black & white and color photographs. Painting dates, titles, size and medium are printed on the back of each card. Painting titles are in English and Spanish. Cards are 4 ½" x 6 ¼" and are suitable for framing.

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