Virtual lecture details the life of Frida Kahlo with rare photos and film footage

Up until a few weeks ago, the Catalina Island Museum was preparing for a new lecture that would delve into great, intimate detail on the life of Mexico’s iconic female artist, Frida Kahlo. Until, that is, coronavirus concerns prompted them to shutter again.

The lecture, to be hosted by Gregorio Luke, an internationally acclaimed Latin American art and culture expert, and former director of the Museum of Latin American Art, will be available to view via Zoom Saturday, July 25.

“Gregorio Luke has brought his passion and art expertise to tens of thousands and though we were looking forward to having him lecture in the museum’s outdoor Ackerman Amphitheater under the stars, we are energized to be able to safely bring this event to our members and reach even more people virtually,” the museum’s executive director, Julie Perlin Lee said in a press release.

“Attendees will leave this experience knowing more about Kahlo as a controversial figure and as an artist and will be riveted with the quality of images and the films in Luke’s lecture, one that he has been perfecting for more than 20 years,” Lee said.

Mexican art and culture expert, Gregorio Luke. The former director of the Museum of Latin American art has given over 1,000 lectures in Mexico, United States, Europe, China, Australia, and South America. Photo courtesy Catalina Island Museum.

Incorporating works from the museum’s new associated art exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, are portraits of Kahlo in the 1930s and ’40s captured by Hungarian-born American photographer Nickolas Muray, a close friend and decade-long lover of Kahlo.

The 90-minute lecture by Luke will be visualized in more than 300 slides featuring Kahlo’s art, documentary photos and rare film footage of the artist, revealing her multifaceted character and her relationships with the people most influential to her life and work.

Until the Catalina Island Museum reopens, a plan contingent on county approval, this lecture may be the earliest opportunity to see art from the museum’s new exhibit featuring more than 50 portraits by Nickolas Muray and revealing rare moments from Kahlo’s personal life including love letters between Kahlo and Muray in addition to six portraits of Kahlo that have never before been exhibited in the U.S.

Tickets to the Frida Kahlo lecture by Gregario Luke are $5 to Avalon residents and members of the Catalina Island Museum and $17 to non-members and residents. Tickets can be purchased, here. After purchase, a dedicated zoom link and instructions will be sent to registered participants.

Frida Kahlo presented by Gregorio Luke is Saturday, July 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The art exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray will be up at the Catalina Island Museum until September 27, 2020. Visit the Catalina Island Museum website, here.

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Cheantay Jensen is an editorial intern who covers art and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post.